(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Harvard classics Volume 20"

w_ru 
0- 
u.
 
::. 
 L.tJ 
0===== 
u -- ::T 
UJ 
 

 rTl 

 - r1 

 - o- 

 - r1 

 = - 0 
LL
 
0 ==-= = r1 

 ....D 
ü)= I"- 
ffi - r1 
>
 
Z
 
::>-rTl 


'),p ."t' \, 


',J 



.. 
.
 


t.
 



-t,"" 't t ... 
. .;. - "1', 


.4 t ,IJI \. 
A <..}
.),.- 
.ø
)- ,
} ..
... 
...-... ,..4 ..... 
 \ill' 


ST. MICHAEL'S COLLEGE 
TORONTO, CANADA 
1\\ 
LIBRARY 


PRESENTED BY 


J. J. McKnight 




 'I:. L 

6 
'<& + 1>" 




THE HARVARD CLASSICS 


The Five-Foot Shelf of Books 




f'
 7n c.; )( 
 
rIl
 3 () II 
/
;) 
 7 



'1 


\, 


'" 


': 


, , 


\- 


\ 
 \ ,"
'\, . 

.. 
 \. 
\' 


.\ 



 


4 



'HL :::1 
PI ( J BY (Z 01 


r 


\ -.tIC 


, 


( 
J AooO. · 


he Di, · n on d 
ante Ii 11iLri 
-Iell 

 
I') 
T 
tj 
() 
0 
.., 
().d 
...... 
""V 
Q 

 
... 
Ç'J 
'd ), 

 
.I :::1 
- 
y 


11. 


r- 
u n (' r 
 r.. to. n 




 

 



 
..... 

 

 
\..) 


6 

 

 

 
 
0.03 

Q.,. 

I 
'-+-. 
c 

 
-- 
Cr.) 

 

 
E-.... 



THE HARVARD CLASSICS 
EDITED BY CHARLES W. ELIOT, LL.D. 


The Divine Comedy of 
Dante Alighieri 


Hell · Purgatory 
Paradise 


TRANSLATED BY HENRY F. CARY 


With Introduction and Notes 
V olul1ze 20 


P. F. Collier & Son Corporation 
NEW YORK 



Copyright, 1909 
By P. F. COLLIER & SoN 


:MA"CFACTURED IN U. S. A. 


AY 2 2 195, 



CONTENTS 
PAGE PACE 
THE DIVINE COMEDY- CANTO XXIX . 119 
CANTO XXX . . 12 3 
INFERNO [HELL]: CANTO XXXI . 12 7 
CANTO I 5 CANTO XXXII . . 13 1 
. 
CANTO II . CANTO XXXIII . . 135 
9 
CANTO III CANTO XXXIV . . 14 0 
13 
CANTO IV 16 
CANTO V . PURGATORY: 
. 21 
CANTO VI . 25 CANTO I . · 145 
CANTO VII . 28 CANTO II . . 149 
CANTO VIII . 3 2 CANTO III · 153 
CANTO IX . 3 6 CANTO IV . 157 
CANTO X . . 4 0 CANTO V . . 161 
CANTO XI . 45 CANTO VI . 16 5 
CANTO XII . . 4 8 CANTO VII . . 17 0 
CANTO XIII . 53 CANTO VIII . . 175 
CANTO XIV . 57 CANTO IX . 179 
CANTO XV . 61 CANTO X . . 18 3 
CANTO XVI . 6- CANTO XI . 186 
:) 
CANTO XVII . 69 CANTO XII . 19 1 
CANTO XVIII 73 CANTO XIII . . 194 
CANTO XIX . 77 CANTO XIV . . 199 
CANTO XX . 81 CANTO XV . . 20 4 
CANTO XXI . . 85 CANTO XVI . 208 
CANTO XXII . 89 CANTO XVII . . 212 
CANTO XXIII 93 CANTO XVIII . 216 
CANTO XXIV 9 8 CANTO XIX . . 220 
CANTO XXV . . 102 CANTO XX . . 225 
CANTO XXVI . 106 CANTO XXI . 23 0 
CANTO XXVII . . 110 CANTO XXII . . 234 
CANTO XXVIII . . 114 CANTO XXIII . 23 8 
1 



2 CONTENTS 
PAGE PAGE 
CANTO XXIV . 24 2 CANTO XII . . 334 
CANTO XXV . 24 6 CANTO XIII . . 339 
CANTO XXVI . 25 0 CANTO XIV . . 344 
CANTO XXVII . 254 CANTO XV . . 347 
CANTO XX,TIII . 2-8 CANTO XVI . . 35 2 
) 
CANTO XXIX . 262 CANTO XVII . . 357 
CANTO XXX 26 7 CANTO XVIII 3 61 
CANTO XXXI 27 1 CANTO XIX . . 3 6 5 
CANTO XXXII 275 CANTO XX . 37 0 
CANTO XXXIII 280 CANTO XXI . . 374 
CANTO XXII . . 37 8 
PARADISE: CANTO XXIII . 3 8 3 
CANTO I . . 28 5 CANTO XXIV . 3 8 7 
CANTO II . . 28 9 CANTO XXV . . 39 1 
CANTO III 293 CANTO XXVI . 395 
CANTO IV . 297 CANTO XXVII . 399 
CANTO V . . 3 01 CANTO XXVIII . 4 0 3 
CANTO VI . 3 0 5 CANTO XXIX . 4 0 7 
CANTO VII . . 3 10 CANTO XXX . 4 11 
CANTO VIII . . 3 1 4 CANTO XXXI . 4 1 5 
CANTO IX . 3 1 9 CANTO XXXII . . 4 1 9 
CANTO X . . 3 2 4 CANTO XXXIII . . 4 2 3 
CANTO XI . 3 2 9 GLOSSARY 4 2 7 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 


MUCH of the life of Dante Alighieri is obscure, and the known facts 
are surrounded by a haze of legend and conjecture. He was born in 
Florence in 1265, of a family noble but not wealthy. His early education 
is a matter of inference, but we know that he learned the art of writing 
verse from the poets of France and Provence, and that after he reached 
manhood he devoted much time to study and became profoundly learned. 
As a young man he saw military service and shared in the recreations of 
his contemporaries; and he married some time before he was thirty-two. 
In Dante's day politics in Florence were exciting and dangerous; and 
after a few years of participation in public affairs he was condemned to 
death by his political enemies in 1302. He saved himself by exile, and 
never returned to his native town. The rest of his life was mainly spent 
wandering about the north of Italy, in Verona, Bologna, Pisa, Lucca, and 
finally Ravenna, where he died in 1321. During the years of his exile 
he found generous patrons in men like the heads of the Scala family in 
Verona and Guido Novello da Polenta in Ravenna; and at Bologna and 
elsewhere he was welcomed as a teacher. 
In the early part of the century in which Dante was born, the literary 
language of Tuscany was still Latin, and not the least of his services to 
his country was his influence in finally establishing the dignity of Italian 
as a medium for great literature. He himself used Latin in at least three 
works: his lecture "De Aqua et Terra"; his "De Monarchia," in which 
he expounded his political theory of the relation of the Empire and the 
Papacy; and his unfinished "De Vulgari Eloquentia," containing his 
defense of the use of Italian. More important, however, were his two 
great works in the vernacular, the "Vita N uova," a series of poems with 
prose commentary, on his love for Beatrice, and the "Divina Commedia." 
The Beatrice, real or ideal, who plays so important a part in the poetry 
of Dante
 is stated by Boccaccio to have been the daughter of F oleo 
Portinari, a rich Florentine, and wife of the banker Simone dei Bardi. 
With this actual person Dante's acquaintance seems to have been of the 
slightest; but, after the fashion of the chivalric lovers of the day, he took 
her as the object of his ideal devotion. She became for him, especially 
after her death in 1290, the center of a mystical devotion of extraordi- 
nary intensity, and appears in his masterpiece as the personification of 
heavenly enlightenment. 
The "Divine Comedy" was entitled by Dante himself merely "Com- 

 



4 


INTRODUCTION 


media," "meaning a poetic composition in a style intermediate between 
the sustained nobility of tragedy, and the popular tone of elegy." The 
word had no dramatic implication at that time, though it did involve a 
happy ending. The poem is the narrative of a journey down through 
Hell, up the mountain of Purgatory, and through the revolving heavens 
into the presence of God. In this aspect it belongs to the two familiar 
medieval literary types of the Journey and the Vision. It is also an alle- 
gory, representing under the symbolism of the stages and experiences of 
the journey, the history of a human soul, painfully struggling from sin 
through purification to the Beatific Vision. Other schemes of interpre- 
tation have been worked out and were probably intended, for Dante 
granted the medieval demand for a threefold and even fourfold signifi- 
cation in this type of writing. 
But the "Divine Comedy" belongs to still other literary forms than 
those mentioned. Professor Grandgent has pointed out that it is also an 
encyclopedia, a poem in praise of Woman, and an autobiography. It 
contains much of what Dante knew of theology and philosophy, of 
astronomy and cosmography, and fragments of a number of other 
branches of learning, so that its encyclopedic character is obvious. In 
making it a monument to Beatrice, he surpassed infinitely all the poetry 
devoted to the praise of women in an age when the deification of women 
was the commonplace of poetry. And finally he made it an autobiography 
-not a narrative of the external events of his life, but of the agony of 
his soul. 
Thus, in an altogether unique way, Dante summarizes the literature, 
the philosophy, the science, and the religion of the Middle Ages. Through 
the intensity of his capacity for experience, the splendor of his po\ver of 
expression, and the depth of his spiritual and philosophic insight, he at 
once sums up and transcends a whole era of human history. 



THE DIVINE COMEDY 
INFERNO [HELL] 
CANTO I 


ARGUMENT.-The writer, having lost his way in a gloomy forest, and being 
hindered by certain wild beasts from ascending a mountain, is met by Virgil, who 
promises to show him the punishments of Hell, and afterward of Purgatory; and 
that he shall then be conducted by Beatrice into Paradise. He follows the Roman poet. 


I N the midwayl of this our mortal life, 
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray 
Gone from the path direct: and e'en to tell, 
It were no easy task, how savage wild 
That forest, how robust and rough its growth, 
Which to remember only, my dismay 
Renews, in bitterness not far from death. 
Yet, to discourse of what there good befel, 
All else will I relate discover'd there. 
How first I enter'd it I scarce can say, 
Such sleepy dulness in that instant weigh'd 
My senses down, when the true path I left; 
But when a mountain's foot I reach'd, where closed 
The valley that had pierced my heart with dread, 
I look'd aloft, and saw his shoulders broad 
Already vested with that planet's beam, 2 
Who leads all wanderers safe through every way. 
Then was a little respite to the fear, 
That in my heart's recesses deep had lain 
All of that night, so pitifully past: 
And as a man, with difficult short breath, 
Forespent with toiling, 'scaped from sea to shore, 
Turns to the perilous wide waste, and stands 
1 ceIn the midway." The era of the highest point of which is, in those well 
poem is intended by these words to be framed by nature, at their thirty-fifth 
fixed to the thirty-fifth year of the poet's year. 
age, A.D. 1300. In his Convito, human 2 "That planet's beam." The sun. 
life is compared to an arch or bow, the 
') 



6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO I 


At gaze; e'en so my spirit, that yet fail'd, 
Struggling with terror, turn'd to view the straits 
That none hath passed and lived. My weary frame 
After short pause recomforted, again 
I journey'd on over that lonely steep, 
The hinder foot 3 still firmer. Scarce the ascent 
Began, when, 101 a panther,4 nimble, light, 
And cover'd with a speckled skin, appear'd; 
Nor, when it saw me, vanish'd; rather strove 
To check my onward going; that oft-times, 
With purpose to retrace my steps, I turn'd. 
The hour was morning's prime, and on his way 
Aloft the sun ascended with those stars,
 
That with him rose when Love Divine first moved 
Those its fair works: so that with joyous hope 
All things conspired to fill me, the gay skin 
Of that swift animal, the matin dawn, 
And the sweet season. Soon that joy was chased. 
And by new dread succeeded, when in view 
A lion came, , gainst me as it appear'd, 
With his head held aloft and hunger-mad, 
That e'en the air was fear-struck. A she-wolf 
Was at his heels, who in her leanness seem'd 
Full of all wants, and many a land hath made 
Disconsolate ere now. She with such fear 
O'erwhelm'd me, at the sight of her appall'd, 
That of the height all hope I lost. As one, 
Who, with his gain elated, sees the time 
When all unawares is gone, he inwardly 
Mourns with heart-griping anguish; such was I, 
Haunted by that fell beast, never at peace, 
Who coming o'er against me, by degrees 
Impell'd me where the sun in silence rests. 
While to the lower space with backward step 
I fell, my ken discern'd the form of one 
Whose voice seem'd faint through long disuse of speech. 
When him in that great desert I espied, 
3 "The hinder foot." In ascending a 5 "With those stars." The sun was in 
hill the weight of the body rests on the Aries, in which sign he supposes it to 
hinder foot. have begun its course at the creation. 
4 uA panther." Pleasure or luxury. 



CANTO I 


HELL 


7 


"Have mercy on me," cried lout aloud, 
"Spirit! or living man! whate'er thou be." 
He answered : "Now not man, man once I was, 
And born of Lombard parents, Mantuans both 
By country, when the power of Julius yet 
Was scarcely firm. At Rome my life was past, 
Beneath the mild Augustus, in the time 
Of fabled deities and false. A bard 
Was I, and made Anchises' upright son 
The subject of my song, who came from Troy, 
When the flames prey'd on Ilium's haughty towers. 
But thou, say wherefore to such perils past 
Return'st thou? wherefore not this pleasant mount 
Ascendest, cause and source of all delight?" 
"And art thou then that Virgil, that well-spring, 
From which such copious floods of eloquence 
Have issued?" I with front abash'd replied. 
"Glory and light of all the tuneful train! 
May it avail me, that I long with zeal 
Have sought thy volume, and with love immense 
Have conn'd it o'er. My master thou, and guide! 
Thou he from whom alone I have derived 
That style, which for its beauty into fame 
Exalts me. See the beast, from whom I fled. 
o save me from her, thou illustrious sage! 
For every vein and pulse throughout my frame 
She hath made tremble." He, soon as he saw 
That I was weeping, answer'd, "Thou must needs 
Another way pursue, if thou wouldst 'scape 
From out that savage wilderness. This beast, 
At whom thou criest, her way will suffer none 
To pass, and no less hinderance makes than death: 
So bad and so accursed in her kind, 
That never sated is her ravenous will, 
Still after food more craving than before. 
To many an animal in wedlock vile 
She fastens, and shall yet to many more, 
Until that greyhound 6 come, who shall destroy 


6 This passage has been commonly un- spirit of his Veronese patron, Can Grande 
derstood as a eulogium on the liberal della Scala. 



8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO I 


Her with sharp pain. He will not life support 
By earth nor its base metals, but by love, 
\Visdom, and virtue; and his land shall be 
The land 'twixt either Feltro. 7 In his might 
Shall safety to Italia's plains arise, 
For whose fair realm, Camilla, virgin pure, 
Nisus, Euryalus, and Turnus fell. 
He, with incessant chase, through every to\vn 
Shall worry, until he to hell at length 
Restore her, thence by envy first let loose. 
I, for thy profit pondering, now devise 
That thou mayst follow me; and I, thy guide, 
Will lead thee hence through an eternal space, 
Where thou shalt hear despairing shrieks, and see 
Spirits of old tormented, who invoke 
A second death;8 and those next view, who dwell 
Content in fire,9 for that they hope to come, 
\Vhene'er the time may be, among the blest, 
Into whose regions if thou then desire 
To ascend, a spirit worthier lO than I 
Must lead thee, in whose charge, when I depart, 
Thou shalt be left: for that Almighty King, 
\Vho reigns above, a rebel to His law 
Adj udges me; and therefore hath decreed 
That, to His city, none through me should come. 
He in all parts hath sway; there rules, there holds 
His citadel and throne. 0 happy those, 
\Vhom there He chuses!" I to him in few: 
"Bard! by that God, whom thou didst not adore, 
I do beseech thee (that this ill and worse 
I may escape) to lead me where thou said'st, 
That I Saint Peter's gate ll may view, and those 
Who, as thou tell'st, are in such dismal plight." 
Onward he moved, I close his steps pursued. 
7 V crona, the country of Can de11a 9 The spirits in Purgatory. 
Scala, is situated between Feltro, a city 10"A spirit worthier." Beatrice, who 
in the Marca Trivigiana, and Monte conducts the Poet through Paradise. 
Feltro, a city in the territory of Urbina. 11 The gate of Purgatory, which the 
8 "A second death." "And in these Poet feigns to be guarded by an angel 
days men shaH seek death, and shall nnt placed there by St. Peter. 
fin-d it: and shall desire to die, and death 
shall flee from them." Rev. ix. 6. 



CANTO II 


HELL 


9 


CANTO II 


ARGU:MENT.-After the invocation, which poets are used to prefix to their works, 
he shows that, on a consideration of his own strength, he doubted whether it sufficed 
for the journey proposed to him, but that, being comforted by Virgil, he at last took 
courage, and followed him as his guide and master. 
N OW was the day departing, and the air, 
Imbrown'd with shadows, from their toils released 
All animals on earth; and I alone 
Prepared myself the conflict to sustain, 
Both of sad pity, and that perilous road, 
Which my unerring memory shall retrace. 
o Muses! 0 high genius! now vouchsafe 
Your aid. 0 mind! that all I saw hast kept 
Safe in a written record, here thy worth 
And eminent endowments come to proof. 
I thus began: "Bard! thou who art my guide, 
Consider well, if virtue be in me 
Sufficient, ere to this high enterprise 
Thou trust me. Thou hast told that Silvius' sire,! 
Yet clothed in corruptible flesh, among 
The immortal tribes had entrance, and was there 
Sensibly present. Yet if Heaven's great Lord, 
Almighty foe to ill, such favor show'd 
In contemplation of the high effect, 
Both what and who from him should issue forth, 
It seems in reason's judgment well deserved; 
Sith he of Rome and of Rome's empire ,vide, 
In Heaven's empyreal height was chosen sire: 
Both which, if truth be spoken, were ordain'd 
And stablish'd for the holy place, where sits 
Who to great Peter's sacred chair succeeds. 
He from this journey, in thy song reno,vn'd, 
Learn'd things, that to his victory gave rise 
And to the papal robe. In after-times 
The Chosen Vessel 2 also travel'd there, 
To bring us back assurance in that faith 
Which is the entrance to salvation's way. 
But I, why should I there presume? or who 
Permits it? not Æneas I, nor Paul. 


1 "Sil "ius' sire." Æneas. 


2 "The Chosen Vessel." St. Paul. 



10 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


C-\NTO II 


" 


Myself I deem not worthy, and none else 
Will deem me. I, if on this voyage then 
I venture, fear it will in folly end. 
Thou, who art wise, better my meaning know'st, 
Than I can speak." As one, who unresolves 
What he hath late resolved, and with new thoughts 
Changes his purpose, from his first intent 
Removed; e'en such was I on that dun coast, 
Wasting in thought my enterprise, at first 
So eagerly embraced. "If right thy words 
I scan," replied that shade magnanimous, 
"Thy soul is by vile fear assaiI'd, which oft 
So overcasts a n1an, that he recoils 
From noblest resolution, like a beast 
At some false semblance in the twilight gloom. 
That from this terror thou mayst free thyself, 
I will instruct thee why I came, and what 
I heard in that same instant, when for thee 
Grief touch'd me first. I was among the tribe, 
Who rest suspended,3 when a dame, so blest 
And lovely I besought her to command, 
Call'd me; her eyes were brighter than the star 
Of day; and she, with gentle voice and soft, 
Angelically tuned, her speech address'd: 
'0 courteous shade of Mantual thou whose fame 
Yet lives, and shall live long as nature lasts I 
A friend, not of my fortune but myself, 
On the wide desert in his road has met 
Hindrance so great, that he through fear has turn'd. 
Now much I dread lest he past help have stray'd, 
And I be risen too late for his relief, 
From what in heaven of him I heard. Speed now, 
And by thy eloquent persuasive tongue, 
And by all means for his deliverance meet, 
Assist him. So to n1e will comfort spring. 
I, who now bid thee on this errand forth, 
Am Beatrice;4 from a place I come 


3 The spirits in Limbo, neither admitted 
to a state of glory nor doomed to punish- 
ment. 


4 "Beatrice." The daughter of Folco 
Portinari, who is here invested with the 
character of celestial wisdom or theology. 



CANTO II 


HELL 


II 


Revisited with joy. Love brought me thence, 
Who prompts my speech. When in my Master's sight 
I stand, thy praise to him loft will tell.' 
"She then was silent, and I thus began: 
'0 Lady! by whose influence alone 
Mankind excels whatever is contain'd 
Within that heaven which hath the smallest orb, 
So thy command delights me, that to obey, 
If it were done already, would seem late. 
No need hast thou further to speak thy will: 
Yet tell the reason, why thou art not loth 
To leave that ample space, where to return 
Thou burnest, for this centre here beneath.' 
"She then: 'Since thou so deeply wouldst inquire, 
I will instruct thee briefly why no dread 
Hinders my entrance here. Those things alone 
Are to be fear'd whence evil may proceed; 
None else, for none are terrible beside. 
I am so framed by God, thanks to His grace! 
That any sufferance of your misery 
T ouches me not, nor flame of that fierce fire 
Assails me. In high Heaven a blessed Dame 5 
Resides, who mourns with such effectual grief 
That hindrance, which I send thee to remove, 
That God's stern judgment to her will inclines.' 
To Lucia, 6 calling, her she thus bespake: 
'Now doth thy faithful servant need thy aid, 
And I commend him to thee.' At her word 
Sped Lucia, of all cruelty the foe, 
And coming to the place, where I abode 
Seated with Rachel, her of ancient days, 
She thus address'd me: "Thou true praise of God! 
Beatrice! why is not thy succour lent 
To him, who so much loved thee, as to leave 
For thy sake all the multitude admires? 
Dost thou not hear how pitiful his wail, 
N or mark the death, which in the torrent flood, 
Swoln mightier than a sea, him struggling holds?" 


5 "A blessed Dame." The Divine 
Merc}' . 


6 "Lucia." The enlightening Grace of 
Heaven; as it is commonly explained. 



12 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO U 


Ne'er among men did any with such speed 
Haste to their profit, flee from their annoy, 
As, when these words were spoken, I came here, 
Down from my blessed seat, trusting the force 
Of thy pure eloquence, which thee, and all 
Who well have mark'd it, into honor brings.' 
"When she had ended, her bright beaming eyes 
Tearful she turn'd aside; whereat I felt 
Redoubled zeal to serve thee. As she will'd, 
Thus am I come: I saved thee from the beast, 
Who thy near way across the goodly mount 
Prevented. What is this comes o'er thee then? 
Why, why dost thou hang back? why in thy breast 
Harbour vile fear? why hast not courage there, 
And noble daring; since three maids,7 so blest, 
Thy safety plan, e'en in the court of Heaven; 
And so much certain good my words forebode?" 
As florets, by the frosty air of night 
Bent down and closed, when day has blanch'd their leaves, 
Rise all unfolded on their spiry stems; 
So was my fainting vigor new restored, 
And to my heart such kindly courage ran, 
That I as one undaunted soon replied: 
"0 full of pity she, who undertook 

1y succour! and thou kind, who didst perform 
So soon her true behest! With such desire 
Thou hast disposed me to renew my voyage, 
That my first purpose fully is resumed. 
Lead on: one only will is in us both. 
Thou art my guide, my master thou, and lord." 
So spake I; and when he had onward moved, 
I enter'd on the deep and woody way. 
7 "Three maids." The Divine Mercy, Lucia and Beatrice. 



CANTO III 


HELL 


13 


CANTO III 


ARGUMENT.-Dante, following Virgil, comes to the gate of Hell; where, after 
having read the dreadful words that are written thereon, they both enter. Here, as 
he understands from Virgil, those were punished who had passed their time (for 
living it could not be called) in a state of apathy and indifference both to good and 
evil. Then, pursuing their way, they arrive at the river Acheron; and there find the 
old ferryman Charon, who takes the spirits over to the opposite shore; which, as 
soon as Dante reaches, he is seized with terror, and falls into a trance. 
" T HROUGH me you pass into the city of woe: 
Through me you pass into eternal pain: 
Through me among the people lost for aye. 
Justice the founder of my fabric moved: 
To rear me was the task of Power divine, 
Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love.! 
Before me things create were none, save things 
Eternal, and eternal I endure. 
All hope abandon, ye who enter here." 
Such characters, in color dim, I mark'd 
Over a portal's lofty arch inscribed. 
Whereat I thus: "Master, these words import 
Hard meaning." He as one prepared replied: 
"Here thou must all distrust behind thee leave; 
Here be vile fear extinguish' d. We are come 
Where I have told thee we shall see the souls 
To misery doom'd, who intellectual good 
Have lost." And when his hand he had stretch'd forth 
To mine, with pleasant looks, whence I ,vas cheer'd, 
Into that secret place he led me on. 
Here sighs, with lamentations and loud moans, 
Resounded through the air pierced by no star, 
That e'en I wept at entering. Various tongues, 
Horrible languages, outcries of woe, 
Accents of anger, voices deep and hoarse, 
With hands together smote that swell'd the sounds, 
Made up a tumult, that forever whirls 
Round through that air with solid darkness stain'd, 
Like to the sand that in the whirlwind flies. 
I then, with horror yet encompast, cried: 
"0 master! what is this I hear? what race 
Are these, who seem so overcome with woe?" 
! "Power," "Wisdom," "Love," the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. 



14 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO III 


He thus to me: "This miserable fate 
Suffer the wretched souls of those, who lived 
Without or praise or blame, with that ill band 
Of angels mix'd, who nor rebellious proved, 
Nor yet were true to God, but for themselves 
Were only. From his bounds Heaven drove them forth 
Not to impair his lustre; nor the depth 
Of Hell receives them, lest the accursed tribe 
Should glory thence with exultation vain." 
I then: "Master! what doth aggrieve them thus, 
That they lament so loud?" He straight replied: 
"That will I tell thee briefly. These of death 
No hope may entertain: and their blind life 
So meanly passes, that all other lots 
They envy. Fame of them the world hath none, 
Nor suffers; Mercy and Justice scorn them both. 
Speak not of them, but look, and pass them by." 
And I, who straightway look'd, beheld a flag, 
Which whirling ran around so rapidly, 
That it no pause obtain'd: and following came 
Such a long train of spirits, I should ne'er 
Have thought that death so many had despoil'd. 
When some of these I recognized, I saw 
And knew the shade of him, who to base fear 2 
Yielding, abjured his high estate. Forthwith 
I understood, for certain, this the tribe 
Of those ill spirits both to God displeasing 
And to His foes. These wretches, who ne'er lived, 
Went on in nakedness, and sorely stung 
By wasps and hornets, which bedew'd their cheeks 
With blood, that, mix'd with tears, dropp'd to their feet, 
And by disgustful worms was gather'd there. 
Then looking further onwards, I beheld 


2 This is commonly understood of 
Celestine V, who abdicated the papal 
power in 1294. Venturi mentions a work 
written by Innocenzio Barcellini, of the 
Celestine order, and printed at Milan in 
1701, in which an attempt is made to put 
a different interpretation on this passage. 
Lombardi would apply it to some one of 
Dante's fellow-citizens, who, refusing, 


through avarice or want of spirit, to sup- 
port the party of the Bianchi at Florence, 
had been the main occasion of the 
miseries that befell them. But the testi- 
mony of Fazio degli Uberti, who lived 
so near the time of our author, seems 
almost decisive on this point. He ex- 
pressly speaks of the Pope Celestine as 
bein
 in Hell. 



CANTO III 


HELL 


15 


A throng upon the shore of a great stream
 
Whereat I thus: "Sir! grant me now to know 
Whom here we view, and whence impell'd they seem 
So eager to pass o'er, as I discern 
Through the blear light?" He thus to me in few: 
"This shalt thou know, soon as our steps arrive 
Beside the woful tide of Acheron." 
Then with eyes downward cast, and @l'd with shame, 
Fearing my words offensive to his ear, 
Till we had reach'd the river, I from speech 
Abstain'd. And lo! toward us in a bark 
Comes on an old man, hoary white with eld, 
Crying, "Woe to you, wicked spirits 1 hope not 
Ever to see the sky again. I come 
To take you to the other shore across, 
Into eternal darkness, there to dwell 
In fierce heat and in ice. And thou, who there 
Standest, live spirit! get thee hence, and leave 
These who are dead." But soon as he beheld 
I left them not, "By other way," said he, 
"By other haven shalt thou come to shore, 
Not by this passage; thee a nimbler boat 
Must carry." Then to him thus spake my guide: 
"Charon! thyself torment not: so 'tis will'd't 
Where will and power are one: ask thou no more." 
Straightway in s Il ence f e ll t h e shaggy cheeks 
Of him, the boatman o'er the livid lake, 
Around whose eyes glared wheeling flames. Meanwhile 
Those spirits, faint and naked, color changed, 
And gnash'd their teeth, soon as the cruel words 
They heard. God and their parents they blasphemed, 
The human kind, the place, the time, and seed, 
That did engender them and give them birth, 
Then all together sorely wailing drew 
To the curst strand, that every man must pass 
Who fears not God. Charon, demoniac form, 
With eyes of burning coal, collects them all, 
Beckoning, and each, that lingers, with his oar 
Strikes. As fall off the light autumnal leaves 
One still another following, till the bough 



16 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IV 


Strews all its honours on the earth beneath; 
E' en in like manner Adam's evil brood 
Cast themselves, one by one, down from the shore, 
Each at a beck, as falcon at his call. 3 
Thus go they over through the umber'd wave; 
And ever they on the opposing bank 
Be landed, on this side another throng 
Still gathers. "Son," thus spake the courteous guide, 
"Those who die subject to the wrath of God 
All here together come from every clime 
And to o'er pass the river are not loth: 
For so Heaven's justice goads them on, that fear 
Is turn'd into desire. Hence ne'er hath past 
Good spirit. If of thee Charon complain, 
Now mayst thou know the import of his words." 
This said, the gloomy region trembling shook 
So terribly, that yet with clammy dews 
Fear chills my brow. The sad earth gave a blast, 
That, lightening, shot forth a vermilion flame, 
Which all my senses conquer'd quite, and I 
Down dropp'd, as one with sudden slumber seized. 


CANTO IV 


ARGUMENT.-The Poet, being roused by a clap of thunder, and following his guide 
onward, descends into Limbo, which is the first circle of Hell, where he finds the 
souls of those, who, although they have lived virtuously and have not to suffer for 
great sins, nevertheless, through lack of baptism, merit not the bliss of Paradise. 
Hence he is led on by Virgil to descend into the second circle. 
B ROKE the deep slumber in my brain a crash 
Of heavy thunder, that I shook myself, 
As one by main force roused. Risen upright, 
My rested eyes I moved around, and search'd 
With fixed ken, to know what place it was 
Wherein I stood. For certain, on the brink 
I found me of the lamentable vale, 
The dread abyss, that joins a thundrous sound 
Of plaints innumerable. Dark and deep, 
3 "As a falcon at his call." This is bird that is enticed to the cage by the 
VelIutelIo's explanation, and seems pref- call of another." 
erable to that commonly given: "as a 



CANTO IV 


HELL 


17 


And thick with clouds 0' erspread, mine eye in vain 
Explored its bottom, nor could aught discern. 
"Now let us to the blind world there beneath 
Descend," the bard began, all pale of look: 
"1 go the first, and thou shalt follow next." 
Then I, his alter'd hue perceiving, thus: 
"How may I speed, if thou yieldest to dread, 
Who still art wont to comfort me in doubt?" 
He then: "The anguish of that race below 
With pity stains my cheek, which thou for fear 
Mistakest. Let us on. Our length of way 
Urges to haste." Onward, this said, he moved; 
And entering led me with him, on the bounds 
Of the first circle that surrounds the abyss. 
Here, as mine ear could note, no plaint was heard 
Except of sighs, that made the eternal air 
Tremble, not caused by tortures, but from grief 
Felt by those multitudes, many and vast, 
Of men, women, and infants. Then to me 
The gentle guide: "Inquirest thou not what spirits 
Are these which thou beholdest? Ere thou pass 
Farther, I would thou know, that these of sin 
Were blameless; and if aught they merited, 
It profits not, since baptism was not theirs, 
The portaP to thy faith. If they before 
The Gospel lived, they served not God aright; 
And among such am I. For these defects, 
And for no other evil, we are lost; 
Onl y so far afRicted, that we live 
Desiring without hope." Sore grief assail'd 
My heart at hearing this, for well I knew 
Suspended in that Limbo many a soul 
Of mighty worth. "0 tell me, sire revered! 
Tell me, my masted" I began, through wish 
Of full assurance in that holy faith 
Which vanquishes all error; "say, did e'er 
Any, or through his own or other's merit, 


1 "Portal." "Porta della fede." This 
was an alteration made in the text by the 
Academicians dell a Crusca, on the au. 


thority, as it would appear, of only two 
manuscripts. The other reading is, Uparte 
delta fede," "part of the faith:' 



18 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IV 


Come forth from thence, who afterward was blest?" 
Piercing the secret purport 2 of my speech, 
He answer'd: "I was new to that estate 
When I beheld a puissant one 3 arrive 
Amongst us, with victorious trophy crown'd. 
He forth the shade of our first parent drew, 
Abel, his child, and Noah righteous man, 
Of Moses lawgiver for faith approved, 
Of patriarch Abraham, and David king, 
Israel with his sire and with his sons, 
Nor without Rachel whom so hard he won, 
And others many more, whom He to bliss 
Exalted
 Before these, be thou assured, 
No spirit of human kind was ever saved." 
We, while he spake, ceased not our onward road, 
Still passing through the wood; for so I name 
Those spirits thick beset. We were not far 
On this side from the summit, when I kenn'd 
A flame, that o'er the darken'd hemisphere 
Prevailing shined. Yet we a little space 
Were distant, not so far but I in part 
Discover'd that a tribe in honour high 
That place possess'd. "0 thou, who every art 
And science valuest! who are these, that boast 
Such honor, separate from all the rest?" 
He answer'd: "The renown of their great names, 
That echoes through your world above, acquires 
Favor in Heaven, which holds them thus advanced." 
Meantime a voice I heard: "Honor the bard 
Sublime r his shade returns, that left us late!" 
No sooner ceased the sound, than I beheld 
F our mighty spirits toward us bend their steps, 
Of semblance neither sorrowful nor glad. 
When thus my master kind began: "Mark him, 
Who in his right hand bears that falchion keen, 
The other three preceding, as their lord. 


2 "Secret purport." Lombardi well ob- 
serves that Dante seems to have been 
restrained by awe and reverence from 
uttering the name of Christ in this place 
of torment; and that for the same cause, 


probably, it docs not occur once through- 
out the whole of this first part of the 
poem. 
3 "A puissant one." Our Saviour. 



CANTO IV 


HELL 


19 


This is that Homer, of all bards supreme: 
Flaccus the next, in satire's vein excelling; 
The third is N aso; Lucan is the last. 
Because they all that appellation own, 
With which the voice singly accosted me, 
Honouring they greet me thus, and well they judge." 
So I beheld united the bright school 
Of him the monarch of sublimest song, 4 
That o'er the others like an eagle soars. 
When they together short discourse had held, 
They turn'd to me, with salutation kind 
Beckoning me; at the which my master smiled: 
Nor was this all; but greater honour still 
They gave me, for they made me of their tribe; 
And I was sixth amid so learn'd a band. 
Far as the luminous beacon on we pass'd, 
Speaking of matters, then befitting well 
To speak, now fitter left untold. At foot 
Of a magnificent castle we arrived, 
Seven times with lofty walls begirt, and round 
Defended by a pleasant stream. O'er this 
As o'er dry land we pass'd. Next, through seven gates, 
I with those sages enter'd, and we came 
Into a mead with lively verdure fresh. 
There dwelt a race, who slow their eyes around 
Majestically moved, and in their port 
Bore eminent authority: they spake 
Seldom, but all their words were tuneful sweet. 
We to one side retired, into a place 
Open and bright and lofty, whence each one 
Stood manifest to view. Incontinent, 
There on the green enamel of the plain 
Were shown me the great spirits, by whose sight 
I am exalted in my own esteem. 
Electra 5 there I saw accompanied 
By many, among whom Hector I knew, 
Anchises' pious son, and with hawk's eye 
Cæsar all arm'd, and by Camilla there 


4 leThe monarch of sublimest song." 5 Daughter of Atlas, and mother of 
Homer. Dardanus, founder of Troy. 



20 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IV 


Penthesilea. On the other side, 
Old King Latinus seated by his child 
Lavinia, and that Brutus I beheld 
Who T arquin chased, Lucretia, Cato's wife 
Marcia, with Julia 6 and Cornelia there; 
And sole apart retired, the Soldan fierce. 7 
Then when a little more I raised my brow, 
I spied the master of the sapient throng,8 
Seated amid the philosophic train. 
Him all admire, all pay him reverence due. 
There Socrates and Plato both I mark'd 
Nearest to him in rank, Democritus, 
Who sets the world at chance,9 Diogenes, 
With Heraclitus, and Empedocles, 
And Anaxagoras, and Thales sage, 
Zeno, and Dioscorides well read 
In nature's secret lore. Orpheus I mark'd 
And Linus, Tully and moral Seneca, 
Euclid and Ptolemy, Hippocrates, 
Galenus, Avicen, and him who made 
That commentary vast, A verroes. 10 
Of all to speak at full were vain attempt; 
For my wide theme so urges, that oft-times 
My words fall short of what bechanced. In two 
The six associates part. Another way 
My sage guide leads me, from that air serene, 
Into a climate ever vex'd with storms: 
And to a part I come, where no light shines. 


6 "Julia.'>> The daughter of Julius 
Cæsar, and wife of Pompey. 
7 "The Soldan fierce." Saladin, or 
Salaheddin>> the rival of Richard Cæur de 
Lion. 
8 "The master of the sapient throng-. n 
"Maestro di colo,. che sanno." Aristotle. 


9 "Who sets the world at chance. n 
Democritus, who maintained the world to 
have been formed by the fortuitous con- 
course of atoms. 
10 A verroes, called by the Arabians 
Ibn Roschd, translated and commented 
on the works of Aristotle. 



CANTO V 


HELL 


21 


CANTO V 


ARGUMENT.-Coming into the second circle of Hell, Dante at the entrance beholds 
Minos the Infernal Judge, by whom he is admonished to beware how he enters those 
regions. Here he witnesses the punishment of carnal sinners, who are tossed about 
ceaselessly in the dark air by the most furious winds. Among these, he meets with 
Francesca of Rimini, through pity at whose sad tale he falls fainting to the ground. 
F ROM the first circle I descended thus 
Down to the second, which, a lesser space 
Embracing, so much more of grief contains, 
Provoking bitter moans. There Minos stands, 
Grinning with ghastly feature: he, of all 
Who enter, strict examining the crimes, 
Gives sentence, and dismisses them beneath, 
According as he foldeth him around: 
For when before him comes the ill-fated soul, 
It all confesses; and that judge severe 
Of sins, considering what place in Hell 
Suits the transgression, with his tail so oft 
Himself encircles, as degrees beneath 
He dooms it to descend. Before him stand 
Always a numerous throng; and in his turn 
Each one to judgment passing, speaks, and hears 
His fate, thence downward to his dwelling hurl'd. 
"0 thou! who to this residence of woe 
Approachest!" when he saw me coming, cried 
Minos, relinquishing his dread employ, 
"Look how thou enter here; beware in whom 
Thou place thy trust; let not the entrance broad 
Deceive thee to thy harm." To him my guide: 
"Wherefore exclaimest? Hinder not his way 
By destiny appointed; so 'tis will'd, 
Where will and power are one. Ask thou no more." 
Now 'gin the rueful wailings to be heard. 
Now am I come where many a plaining voice 
Smites on mine ear. Into a place I came 
Where light was silent all. Bellowing there groan'd 
A noise, as of a sea in tempest torn 
By warring winds. The stormy blast of Hell 
With restless fury drives the spirits on, 
Whirl'd round and dash'd amain with sore annoy. 



22 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO V 


When they arrive before the ruinous sweep, 
There shrieks are heard, there lamentations, moans, 
And blasphemies 'gainst the good Power in Heaven. 
I understood, that to this torment sad 
The carnal sinners are condemn'd, in whom 
Reason by lust is sway'd. As, in large troops 
And multitudinous, when winter reigns, 
The starlings on their wings are borne abroad; 
So bears the tyrannous gust those evil souls. 
On this side and on that, above, below, 
It drives them: hope of rest to solace them 
Is none, nor e'en of milder pang. As cranes, 
Chanting their dolorous notes, traverse the sky, 
Stretch'd out in long array; so I beheld 
Spirits, who came loud wailing, hurried on 
By their dire doom. Then I: "Instructor! who 
Are these, by the black air so scourged?" "The first 
'Mong those, of \vhom thou question'st," he replied, 
"O'er many tongues was empress. She in vice 
Of luxury was so shameless, that she made 
Liking be lawful by promulged decree, 
To clear the blame she had herself incurr'd. 
This is Semiramis, of whom 'tis writ, 
That she succeeded Ninus her espoused; 
And held the land, which now the Soldan rules. 
The next in amorous fury slew herself, 
And to Sichæus
 ashes broke her faith: 
Then follows Cleopatra, lustful queen." 
There mark'd I Helen, for whose sake so long 
The time was fraught with evil; there the great 
Achilles, who with love fought to the end. 
Paris I saw, and Tristan; and beside, 
A thousand more he sho\v'd me, and by name 
Pointed them out, whom love bereaved of life. 
When I had heard my sage instructor name 
Those dames and knights of antique days, o'erpower'd 
By pity, well-nigh in amaze my mind 
Was lost; and I began: "Bard! willingly 
I would address those two together coming, 
Which seem so light before the wind." He thus: 



CANTO V 


HELL 


23 


"Note thou, when nearer they to us approach. 
Then by that love which carries them along, 
Entreat; and they will come." Soon as the wind 
Sway'd them towards us, I thus framed my speech: 
"0 wearied spirits! come, and hold discourse 
With us, if by none else restrain'd." As doves 
By fond desire invited, on wide wings 
And firm, to their -sweet nest returning home, 
Cleave the air, wafted by their will along; 
Thus issued, from that troop where Dido ranks, 
They, through the ill air speeding: with such force 
My cry prevail'd, by strong affection urged. 
"0 gracious creature and benign! who go'st 
Visiting, through this element obscure, 
Us, who the world with bloody stain imbrued; 
If, for a friend, the King of all, we own'd, 
Our prayer to him should for thy peace arise, 
Since thou hast pity on our evil plight. 
Of whatsoe'er to hear or to discourse 
It pleases thee, that will we hear, of that 
Freely with thee discourse, while e'er the wind, 
As now, is mute. The land,t that gave me birth, 
Is situate on the coast, where Po descends 
To rest in ocean with his sequent streams. 
"Love, that in gentle heart is quickly learnt, 
Entangled him by that fair form, from me 
Ta'en in such cruel sort, as grieves me still: 
Love, that denial takes from none beloved, 
Caught me with pleasing him so passing well, 
That, as thou seest, he yet deserts me not. 
Love brought us to one death: Caïna 2 waits 
The soul, who spilt our life." Such were their words; 
At hearing which, downward I bent my looks, 
And held them there so long, that the bard cried: 
"What art thou pondering?" I in answer thus: 
"Alas! by what sweet thoughts, what fond desire 
Must they at length to that ill pass have reach'd!" 
Then turning, I to them my speech address'd, 


1 uThe land." Ravenna. 


2 "CaÏna." The place to which mur- 
derers are doomed. 



24 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO V 


And thus began: "Prancescar 3 your sad fate 
Even to tears my grief and pity moves. 
But tell me; in the time of your sweet sighs, 
By what, and how Love granted, that ye knew 
Your yet uncertain wishes?" She replied: 
"No greater grief than to remember days 
Of joy, when misery is at hand. That kens 
Thy learn'd instructor. Yet so eagerly 
If thou art bent to know the primal root, 
From whence our love gat being, I will do 
As one, who weeps and tells his tale. One day, 
For our delight we read of Lancelot,4 
How him love thrall'd. Alone we were, and no 
Suspicion near us. Oft-times by that reading 
Our eyes were drawn together, and the hue 
Fled from our alter'd cheek. But at one point 
Alone we fell. When of that smile we read, 
The wished smile so rapturously kiss'd 
By one so deep in love, then he, who ne'er 
From me shall separate, at once my lips 
All trembling kiss'd. The book and writer both 
Were love's purveyors. In its leaves that day 
We read no more." While thus one spirit spake, 
The other wail'd so sorely, that heart-struck 
I, through compassion fainting, seem'd not far 
From death, and like a corse fell to the ground. 


3 "Francesca." Francesca, the daughter 
of Guido da Polenta, Lord of Ravenna, 
was given by her father in marriage to 
Gianciotto, son of Malatesta, Lord of 
Rimini, a man of extraordinary courage, 
but deformed in his person. His brother 
Paolo, who unhappily possessed those 
graces which the husband of Francesca 
wanted, engaged her affections; and being 


taken in adultery, they were both put to 
death by the enraged Gianciotto. 
4 "Lancelot." One of the Knights of 
the Round Table, and the lover of 
Ginevra, or Guinever, celebrated in ro- 
mance. The incident alluded to seems to 
have made a strong impression on the 
imagination of Dante, who introduces it 
again, in the Paradise, Canto xvi. 

 



CANTO VI 


HELL 


25 


CANTO VI 


ARGUMENT.-On his recovery, the Poet finds himself in the third circle, where the 
gluttonous are punished. Their torment is, to lie in the mire, under a continual 
and heavy storm of hail, snow, and discolored water; Cerberus, meanwhile barking 
over them with his threefold throat, and rending them piecemeal. One of these, who 
on earth was named Ciacco, foretells the divisions with which Florence is about to 
be distracted. Dante proposes a question to his guide, who solves it; and they proceed 
toward the fourth circle. 


M y sense reviving, that erewhile had droop'd 
With pity for the kindred shades, whence grief 
O'ercame me wholly, straight around I see 
New torments, new tormented souls, which way 
Soe'er I move, or turn, or bend my sight. 
In the third circle I arrive, of showers 
Ceaseless, accursed, heavy and cold, unchanged 
For ever, both in kind and in degree. 
Large hail, discolor'd water, sleety flaw 
Through the dun midnight air stream'd down amain: 
Stank all the land whereon that tempest fell. 
Cerberus, cruel monster, fierce and strange, 
Through his wide threefold throat, barks as a dog 
Over the multitude immersed beneath. 
His eyes glare crimson, black his unctuous beard, 
His belly large, and claw'd the hands, with which 
He tears the spirits, flays them, and their limbs 
Piecemeal disparts. Howling there spread, as curs, 
Under the rainy deluge, with one side 
The other screening, oft they roll them round, 
A wretched, godless crew. When that great worm 1 
Descried us, savage Cerberus, he oped 
His jaws, and the fangs show'd us; not a limb 
Of him but trembled. Then my guide, his palms 
Expanding on the ground, thence fill' d with earth 
Raised them, and cast it in his ravenous ma\v. 
E'en as a dog, that yelling bays for food 
His keeper, when the morsel comes, lets fall 
His fury, bent alone with eager haste 


1 "When that great worm, descried us 
. . . he opened his jaws." In Canto 
xxxiv. Lucifer is called 


"The abhorred worm, 
that boreth through the world." 



26 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VI 


To swallow it; so dropp'd the loathsome cheeks 
Of demon Cerberus, who thundering stuns 
The spirits, that they for deafness wish in vain. 
We, o'er the shades thrown prostrate by the brunt 
Of the heavy tempest passing, set our feet 
Upon their emptiness, that substance seem'd. 
They all along the earth extended lay, 
Save one, that sudden raised himself to sit, 
Soon as that way he saw us pass. "0 thou!" 
He cried, "who through the infernal shades art led, 
Own, if again thou know'st me. Thou wast framed 
Or ere my frame was broken." I replied: 
"The anguish thou endurest perchance so takes 
Thy form from my remembrance, that it seems 
As if I saw thee never. But inform 
Me who thou art, that in a place so sad 
Art set, and in such torment, that although 
Other be greater, none disgusteth more." 
He thus in answer to my words rejoin'd: 
"Thy city, heap'd with envy to the brim, 
Aye, that the measure overflows its bounds, 
Held me in brighter days. Ye citizens 
Were wont to name me Ciacco. 2 For the sin 
Of gluttony, damned vice, beneath this rain, 
E'en as thou seest, I with fatigue am \vorn: 
Nor I sole spirit in this woe: all these 
Have by like crime incurr'd like punishment." 
No more he said, and I my speech resumed: 
"Ciacco! thy dire affliction grieves me much, 
Even to tears. But tell me, if thou know'st, 
What shall at length befall the citizens 
Of the divided city;3 whether any 
Just one inhabit there: and tell the cause, 
Whence jarring Discord hath assail'd it thus." 
He then: "After long striving they will come 


2 "Ciacco." So called from his inordi- 
nate appetite; "ciacco," in Italian, signi- 
fying a pig. The real name of this J;;lut- 
ton has not been transmitted to us. 


3 "The divided city." The city of Flor- 
ence, divided into the Bianchi and Neri 
factions. 



CANTO VI 


HELL 


27 


To blood; and the wild party from the woods 4 
Will chase the other 5 with much injury forth. 
Then it behooves that this must fall,6 within 
Three solar circles; 7 and the other rise 
By borrow'd force of one, who under shore 
Now rests. 8 It shall a long space hold aloof 
Its forehead, keeping under heavy weight 
The other opprest, indignant at the load, 
And grieving sore. The just are two in number. 9 
But they neglected. Avarice, envy, pride, 
Three fatal sparks, have set the hearts of all 
On fire." Here ceased the lamentable sound; 
And I continued thus: "Still would I learn 
More from thee, further parley still entreat. 
Of F arinata and T egghiaio 10 say, 
They who so well deserved; of Giacopo,l1 
Arrigo, Mosca,12 and the rest, who bent 
Their minds on working good. Oh! tell me wh
re 
They bide, and to their knowledge let me come. 
For I am prest with keen desire to hear 
If Heaven's sweet cup, or poisonous drug of Hell, 
Be to their lip assign'd." He answer'd straight: 
"These are yet blacker spirits. Various crimes 
Have sunk them deeper in the dark abyss. 
If thou so far descendest, thou mayst see them. 
But to the pleasant world, when thou return'st, 
Of n1e make mention, I entreat thee, there. 
No more I tell thee, answer thee no more." 
4 "The wild party from the woods." agreed. Some understand them to be 
So called, because it was headed by Veri Dante himself and his friend Guido 
de' Cerchi, whose family had lately come Cavalcanti. 
into the city from Acona, and the woody )0 "Of Farinata and Tegghiaio." See 
country of the Val di Nievole. Canto x. and notes, and Canto xvi. and 
ií "The other." The opposite party of notes. 
the Neri, at the head of which was Corso 11 "Giacopo." Giacopo Rusticucci. See 
Donati. Canto xvi. and notes. 
6 "This must fall." The Bianchi. 12 "Arrigo, Mosca." Of Arrigo, who is 
7 "Three solar circles." Three years. said by the commentators to have been 
8 "Of one, who under shore now rests." of the noble family of the Fifanti, no 
Charles of Valois, by whose means the mention afterward occurs. Mosca degli 
Neri were replaced. Uberti, or de' Lamberti, is introduced in 
9 "The just are two in number." Who Canto xxviii. 
these two were, the commentators are not 



28 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VII 


This said, his fixed eyes he turn'd askance, 
A little eyed me, then bent down his head, 
And 'midst his blind companions with it fell. 
When thus my guide: "No more his bed he leaves, 
Ere the last angel-trumpet blow. The Power 
Adverse to these shall then in glory come, 
Each one forthwith to his sad tomb repair, 
Resume his fleshly vesture and his form, 
And hear the eternal doom re-echoing rend 
The vault." So pass'd we through that mixture foul 
Of spirits and rain, with tardy steps; meanwhile 
Touching, though slightly, on the life to come. 
For thus I question'd: "Shall these tortures, Sir! 
When the great sentence passes, be increased, 
Or mitigated, or as now severe?" 
He then: "Consult thy knowledge; that decides, 
That, as each thing to more perfection grows, 
It feels more sensibly both good and pain. 
Though ne'er to true perfection may arrive 
This race accurst, yet nearer then, than now, 
They shall approach it." Compassing that pat
 
Circuitous we journey'd; and discourse, 
Much more than I relate, between us pass'd: 
Till at the point, whence the steps led below, 
Arrived, there Plutus, the great foe, we found. 


CANTO VII 


ARGUMENT.-In the present Canto, Dante describes his descent into the fourth 
circle, at the be
innin
 of which he sees Plutus stationed. Here one like doom awaits 
the prodigal and the avaricious; which is, to meet in direful conflict, rolling great 
weights against each other with mutual upbraidings. From hence Virgil takes occasion 
to show how vain the goods that are committed into the char
e of Fortune; and this 
moves our author to inquire what being that Fortune is, of whom he speaks: which 
question being resolved, they go down into the fifth circle, where they find the 
wrathful and gloomy tormented in the Stygian lake. Having made a compass round 
great part of this lake, they come at last to the base of a lofty tower. 
l\: ' H me! 0 Satan! Satan!" 1 loud exc1aim'd 
Plutus, in accent hoarse of wild alarm: 
And the kind sage, whom no event surprised, 
To comfort me thus spake: "Let not thy fear 
Harm thee, for power in him, be sure, is none 
l"Pape Satan, Pape Satan, aleppe;" words without meaning. 



CANTO VII 


HELL 


29 


To hinder down this rock thy safe descent." 
Then to that swoln lip turning, "Peace!" he cried, 
"Curst wolf! thy fury inward on thyself 
Prey, and consume thee! Through the dark profound, 
Not without cause, he passes. So 'tis will'd 
On high, there where the great Archangel pour'd 
Heaven's vengeance on the first adulterer proud." 
As sails, full spread and bellying with the wind, 
Drop suddenly collapsed, if the mast split; 
So to the ground down dropp'd the cruel fiend. 
Thus we, descending to the fourth steep ledge, 
Gain'd on the dismal shore, that all the woe 
Hems in of all the universe. Ah me! 
Almighty Justice! in what store thou heap'st 
New pains, new troubles, as I here beheld. 
Wherefore doth fault of ours bring us to this? 
E'en as a billow, on Charybdis rising, 
Against encounter'd billow dashing breaks; 
Such is the dance this wretched race must lead, 
Whom more than elsewhere numerous here I found. 
From one side and the other, with loud voice, 
Both roll'd on weights, by main force of their breasts, 
Then smote together, and each one forthwith 
Roll'd them back voluble, turning again; 
Exclaiming these, "Why holdest thou so fast?" 
Those answering, "And why castest thou away?" 
So, still repeating their despiteful song, 
They to the opposite point, on either hand, 
Traversed the horrid circle; then arrived, 
Both turn'd them round, and through the middle space, 
Conflicting met again. At sight whereof 
I, stung with grief, thus spake: "0 say, my guide! 
What race is this. Were these, whose heads are shorn, 
On our left hand, all separate to the Church?" 
He straight replied: "In their first life, these all 
In mind were so distorted, that they made, 
According to due measure, of their wealth 
No use. This clearly from their words collect, 
Which they howl forth, at each extremity 
Arriving of the circle, where their crime 



3 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VII 


Contrary in kind disparts them. To the Church 
Were separate those, that with no hairy cowls 
Are crowned, both Popes and Cardinals, o'er whom 
A varice dominion absolute maintains." 
I then: " 'Mid such as these some needs must be, 
Whom I shall recognize, that with the blot 
Of these foul sins were stain'd." He answering thus: 
"Vain thought conceivest thou. That ignoble life, 
Which made them vile before, now makes them dark, 
And to all knowledge indiscernible. 
For ever they shall meet in this rude shock: 
These from the tomb with clenched grasp shall rise, 
Those with close-shaven locks. That ill they gave, 
And ill they kept, hath of the beauteous world 
Deprived, and set them at this strife, which needs 
No labor'd phrase of mine to set it off. 
Now mayst thou see, my son! how brief, how vain, 
The goods committed into Fortune's hands, 
For which the human race keep such a coil! 
Not all the gold that is beneath the moon, 
Or ever hath been, of these toil-worn souls 
Might purchase rest for one." I thus rejoin'd: 
"My guide! of these this also would I learn; 
This fortune, that thou speak'st of, what it is, 
Whose talons grasp the blessings of the world." 
He thus: "0 beings blind! what ignorance 
Besets you! Now my judgment hear and mark. 
He, whose transcendent wisdom passes all, 
The heavens creating, gave them ruling powers 
To guide them; so that each part shines to each, 
Their light in equal distribution pour'd. 
By similar appointment he ordain'd, 
Over the world's bright images to rule, 
Superintendence of a guiding hand 
And general minister, which, at due time, 
May change the empty vantages of life 
From race to race, from one to other's blood, 
Beyond prevention of man's wisest care: 
Wherefore one nation rises into sway, 
Another languishes, e'en as her will 



CANTO VII 


HELL 


3 1 


Decrees, from us conceal'd, as in the grass 
The serpent train. Against her nought avails 
Your utmost wisdom. She with foresight plans, 
Judges, and carries on her reign, as theirs 
The other powers divine. Her changes know 
None intermission: by necessity 
She is made swift, so frequent come who claim 
Succession in her favors. This is she, 
So execrated e'en by those whose debt 
To her is rather praise: they wrongfully 
With blame requite her, and with evil word; 
But she is blessed, and for that recks not: 
Amidst the other primal beings glad 
Rolls on her sphere, and in her bliss exults. 
Now on our way pass we, to heavier woe 
Descending: for each star is falling now, 
That mounted at our entrance, and forbids 
Too long our tarrying." We the circle cross'd 
To the next steep, arriving at a well, 
That boiling pours itself down to a foss 
Sluiced from its source. Far murkier was the wave 
Than sablest grain: and we in company 
Of the inky waters, journeying by their side, 
Enter'd, though by a different track, beneath. 
Into a lake, the Stygian named, expands 
The dismal stream, when it hath reach'd the foot 
Of the gray wither'd cliffs. Intent I stood 
To gaze, and in the marish sunk descried 
A miry tribe, all naked, and with looks 
Betokening rage. They with their hands alone 
Struck not, but with the head, the breast, the feet, 
Cutting each other piecemeal with their fangs. 
The good instructor spake: "Now seest thou, son! 
The souls of those, whom anger overcame. 
This too for certain know, that underneath 
The water dwells a multitude, whose sighs 
Into these bubbles make the surface heave, 
As thine eye tells thee wheresoe'er it turn. 
Fix'd in the slime, they say: 'Sad once were we, 
In the sweet air made gladsome by the sun, 



3 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VIII 


Carrying a foul and lazy mist within: 
Now in these murky settlings are we sad.' 
Such dolorous strain they gurgle in their throats, 
But word distinct can utter none." Our route 
Thus compass'd we, a segment widely stretch'd 
Between the dry embankment, and the core 
Of the loath'd pool, turning meanwhile our eyes 
Downward on those who gulp'd its muddy lees; 
Nor stopp'd, till to a tower's low base we came. 


CANTO VIII 


ARGUMENT.-A signal having been made from the tower, Phlegyas, the ferryman 
of the lake, speedily crosses it, and conveys Virgil and Dante to the other side. On 
their passage, they meet with Filippo Argenti, whose fury and torment are described. 
They then arrive at the city of Dis, the entrance whereto is denied, and the portals 
closed against them by many Demons. 
M y theme pursuing, I relate, that ere 
We reach'd the lofty turret's base, our eyes 
Its height ascended, where we mark'd uphung 
Two cressets, and another saw from far 
Return the signal, so remote, that scarce 
The eye could catch its beam. I, turning round 
To the deep source of knowledge, thus inquired: 
"Say what this means; and \vhat, that other light 
In ans\ver set: what agency doth this?" 
"There on the filthy waters," he replied, 
"E'en now what next awaits us mayst thou see, 
If the marsh-gendered fog conceal it not." 
Never was arrow from the cord dismiss'd, 
That ran its way so nimbly through the air, 
As a small bark, that through the waves I spied 
Toward us coming, under the sole sway 
Of one that ferried it, who cried aloud: 
"Art thou arrived, fell spirit?"-"Phlegyas, Phlegyas,l 
This time thou criest in vain," my lord replied; 
"No longer shalt thou have us, but while o'er 
The slimy pool we pass." As one who hears 
Of some great wrong he hath sustain'd, whereat 
1 Phlegyas, so incensed against Apollo by whose vengeance he was cast into 
for having violated his daughter Coronis, Tartarus. See Virgil, Æneas, 1. vi. 618. 
that he set fire to the temple of that deity, 



CANTO VIII 


HELL 
Inly he pines: so Phlegyas inly pined 
In his fierce ire. My guide, descending, stepp'd 
Into the skiff, and bade me enter next, , 
Close at his side; nor, till my entrance, seem'd 
The vessel freighted. Soon as both embark'd, 
Cutting the waves, goes on the ancient prow, 
More deeply than with others it is wont. 
While we our course o'er the dead channel held, 
One drench'd in mire before me came, and said: 
"Who art thou, that thus comest ere thine hour?" 
I answer'd: "Though I come, I tarry not: 
But who art thou, that art become so foul?" 
"One, as thou seest, who mourn:" he straight 
replied. 
To which I thus: "In mourning and in woe, 
Curst spirit! tarry thou. I know thee well, 
E'en thus in filth disguised." Then stretch'd he forth 
Hands to the bark; whereof my teacher sage 
Aware, thrusting him back: "Away! down there 
To the other dogs!" then, with his arms my neck 
Encircling, kiss'd my cheek, and spake: "0 soul, 
Justly disdainful! blest was she in whom 
Thou wast conceived. He in the world was one 
F or arrogance noted: to his memory 
No virtue lends its lustre; even so 
Here is his shadow furious. There above, 
How many now hold themselves mighty kings, 
Who here like swine shall wallow in the mire, 
Leaving behind them horrible dispraise." 
I then: "Master! him fain would I behold 
Whelm'd in these dregs, before we quit the lake." 
He thus: "Or ever to thy view the shore 
Be offer'd, satisfied shall be that wish, 
Which well deserves completion." Scarce his words 
Were ended, when I saw the miry tribes 
Set on him with such violence, that yet 
For that render I thanks to God, and praise. 
"To Filippo Argentil" 2 cried they all: 
2 Boccaccio tells us, "he was a man re. and the extreme wa}'wardness and irasci- 
markable for the large proportions and bility of his temper."-"Decameron," G. 
extraordinary vigor of his bodily frame, ix. N. 8. 


33 



34 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
And on himself the moody Florentine 
Turn'd his avenging fangs. Him here we left, 
Nor speak I of him more. But on mine ear 
Sudden a sound of lamentation smote, 
Whereat mine eye unbarr'd I sent abroad. 
And thus the good instructor: "Now, my son 
Draws near the city, that of Dis is named, 
With its grave denizens, a mighty throng." 
I thus: "The minarets already, Sir! 
There, certes, in the valley I descry, 
Gleaming vermilion, as if they from fire 
Had issued." He replied: "Eternal fire, 
That inward burns, shows them with ruddy flame 
Illumed; as in this nether Hell thou seest." 
We came within the fosses deep, that moat 
This region comfortless. The walls appear'd 
As they were framed of iron. We had made 
Wide circuit, ere a place we reach'd, where loud 
The mariner cried vehement: "Go forth: 
The entrance is here." Upon the gates I spied 
More than a thousand, who of old from Heaven 
Were shower'd. With ireful gestures, "Who is this," 
They cried, "that, without death first felt, goes through 
The regions of the dead? " My sapient guide 
Made sign that he for secret parley wish'd; 
Whereat their angry scorn abating, thus 
They spake: "Come thou alone; and let him go, 
Who hath so hardily enter'd this realm. 
Alone return he by his witless way; 
If well he knew it, let him prove. For thee, 
Here shalt thou tarry, who through clime so dark 
Hast been his escort." Now bethink thee, reader! 
What cheer was mine at sound of those curst words. 
I did believe I never should return. 
"0 my loved guide! who more than seven times 3 


CANTO VIII 


3 "Seven times'" The commentators, 
says Venturi, perplex themselves with the 
inquiry what seven perils these were 
from which Dante had been delivered by 
Virgil. Reckoning the beasts in the first 
Canto as one of them, and adding Charon, 


Minos, Cerberus, Plutus, Phlegyas, and 
Filippo Argenti, as so many others, we 
shall have the number; and if this be not 
satisfactory, we may suppose a deter- 
minate to have been put for an indeter- 
minate number. 



CANTO VIII 


HELL 


35 


Security hast render'd me, and drawn 
From peril deep, whereto I stood exposed, 
Desert me not," I cried, "in this extreme. 
And, if our onward going be denied, 
Together trace we back our steps with speed." 
My liege, \vho thither had conducted me, 
Replied: "Fear not: for of our passage none 
Hath power to disappoint us, by such high 
Authority permitted. But do thou 
Expect me here; meanwhile, thy wearied spirit 
Comfort, and feed with kindly hope, assured 
I will not leave thee in this lower world." 
This said, departs the sire benevolent, 
And quits me. Hesitating I remain 
At war, 'twixt will and will not, in my thoughts. 
I could not hear what terms he offer'd them, 
But they conferr'd not long, for all at once 
Pellmell rush'd back within. Closed were the gates, 
By those our adversaries, on the breast 
Of my liege lord: excluded, he return'd 
To me with tardy steps. Upon the ground 
His eyes were bent, and from his brow erased 
All confidence, while thus in sighs he spake: 
"Who hath denied me these abodes of woe?" 
Then thus to me: "That I am anger'd, think 
No ground of terror: in this trial I 
Shall vanquish, use what arts they may within 
For hindrance. This their insolence, not new, 4 
Erewhile at gate less secret they display'd, 
Which still is without bolt; upon its arch 
Thou saw'st the deadly scroll: and even now, 
On this side of its entrance, down the steep, 
Passing the circles, unescorted, comes 
One whose strong might can open us this land." 


4 Virgil assures our poet that these evil 
spirits had formerly shown the same in- 
solence when our Saviour descended into 
hell. They attempted to prevent him 
from entering at the gate, over which 


Dante had read the fatal inscription. 
"That gate which," says the Roman poet, 
"an angel had just passed, by whose aid 
we shall overcome this opposition, and 
gain admittance into the city." 



3 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IX 


CANTO IX 


ARGUMENT.-After some hindrances, and having seen the hellish furies and other 
monsters, the Poet, by the help of an angel, enters the city of Dis, wherein he dis- 
covers that the heretics are punished in tombs burning with intense fire; and he, 
together with Virgil, passes onward between the sepulchres and the walls of the city. 


T HE hue,1 which coward dread on my pale cheeks 
Imprinted when I saw my guide turn back, 
Chased that from his which newly they had worn, 
And inwardly restrain'd it. He, as one 
Who 1 istens, stood attentive: for his eye 
Not far could lead him through the sable air, 
And the thick-gathering cloud. "It yet behoves 
Wf' win this fight;" thus he began: "if not, 
Such aid to us is offer'd-Oh! how long 
Me seems it, ere the promised help arrive." 
I noted, how the sequel of his words 
Cloked their beginning; for the last he spake 
Agreed not with the first. But not the less 
My fear was at his saying; sith I drew 
To import worse, perchance, than that he held, 
His mutilated speech. "Doth ever any 
Into this rueful concave's extreme depth 
Descend, out of the first degree, whose pain 
Is deprivation merely of sweet hope?" 
Thus I inquiring. "Rarely," he replied, 
"It chances, that among us any makes 
This journey, which I wend. Erewhile, 'tis true, 
Once came I here beneath, conjured by fell 
Erichtho,2 sorceress, who compell'd the shades 
Back to their bodies. No long space my flesh 
Was naked of me, when within these walls 
She made me enter, to draw forth a spirit 
From out of Judas' circle. Lowest place 
Is that of all, obscurest, and removed 


1 uThe hue." Virgil, perceiving that 
Dante was pale with fear, restrained those 
outward tokens of displeasure which his 
own countenance had betrayed. 


2 Erichtho, a Thessalian sorceress 
(Lucan, uPharsal." I. vi.), was employed 
by Sextus, son of Pompey the Great, to 
conjure up a spirit, who should inform 
him of the issue of the civil wars between 
his father and Cæsar. 



CANTO IX 


HELL 
Farthest from Heaven's all-circling orb. The road 
Full well I know: thou therefore rest secure. 
That lake, the noisome stench exhaling, round 
The city of grief encompasses, which now 
We may not enter without rage." Yet more 
He added: but I hold it not in mind, 
F or that mine eye toward the lofty tower 
Had drawn me wholly, to its burning top; 
Where, in an instant, I beheld uprisen 
At once three hellish furies stain'd with blood. 
In limb and motion feminine they seem'd; 
Around them greenest hydras twisting roll'd 
Their volumes; adders and cerastes crept 
Instead of hair, and their fierce temples bound. 
He, knowing well the miserable hags 
Who tend the queen of endless woe, thus spake: 
"Mark thou each dire Erynnis. To the left, 
This is Megæra; on the right hand, she 
Who wails, Alecto; and Tisiphone 
I' th' midst." This said, in silence he remain'd. 
Their breast they each one clawing tore; themselves 
Smote with their palms, and such thrill clamour raised, 
That to the bard I clung, suspicion-bound. 
"Hasten Medusa: so to adamant 
Him shall we change;" all looking down exclaim'd: 
"E'en when by Theseus' might assail'd, we took 
No ill revenge." "Turn thyself round and keep 
Thy countenance hid; for if the Gorgon dire 
Be shown, and thou shouldst view it, thy return 
Upwards would be forever lost." This said, 
Himself, my gentle master, turn'd me round; 
Nor trusted he my hands, but with his own 
He also hid me. Ye of intellect 
Sound and entire, mark well the lore 3 conceal'd 


3 The Poet probably intends to call the 
reader's attention to the allegorical and 
mystic sense of the present Canto, and 
not, as Venturi supposes, to that of the 
whole work. Landino supposes this hid- 
den meaning to be that in the case of 
those vices which proceed from intem- 


perance, reason, figured under the person 
of Virgil, with the ordinary grace of God, 
may be a sufficient safeguard; but that 
in the instance of more heinous crimes. 
such as those we shall hereafter see pun- 
ished. a special grace, represented by the 
angel, is requisite for our defence. 


37 



3 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IX 


Under close texture of the mystic strain. 
And now there came o'er the perturbed waves 
Loud-crashing, terrible, a sound that made 
Either shore tremble, as if of a wind 
Impetuous, from conflicting vapors sprung, 
That 'gainst some forest driving all his might, 
Plucks off the branches, beats them down, and hurls 
Afar; then, onward passing, proudly sweeps 
His whirlwind rage, while beasts and shepherds fly. 
Mine eyes he loosed, and spake: "And now direct 
Thy visual nerve along that ancient foam, 
There, thickest where the smoke ascends." lis frogs 
Before their foe the serpent, through the wave 
Ply swiftly all, till at the ground each one 
Lies on a heap; more than a thousand spirits 
Destroy'd, so saw I fleeing before one 
Who pass'd with unwet feet the Stygian sound. 
He, from his face removing the gross air, 
Oft his left hand forth stretch'd, and seem'd alone 
By that annoyance wearied. I perceived 
That he was sent from Heaven; and to my guide 
Turn'd me, who signal made, that I should stand 
Quiet, and bend to him. Ah me r how full 
Of noble anger seem'd he. To the gate 
He came, and with his wand touch'd it, whereat 
Open without impediment it flew. 
"Outcasts of heaven! 0 abject race, scorn'd!" 
Began he, on the horrid grunsel standing, 
"Whence cloth this wild excess of insolence 
Lodge in you? wherefore kick you 'gainst that will 
Ne'er frustrate of its end, and which so oft 
Hath laid on you enforcement of your pangs? 
What profits at the Fates to butt the horn? 
Your Cerberus"- if ye remember, hence 
Bears still, peel'd of their hair, his throat and maw." 


4 UYour Cerberus." Cerberus is feigned 
to have been dragged by Hercules, bound 
with a threefold chain, of which, says the 
angel, he still bears the marks. Lombardi 
blames the other interpreters for having 
supposed that the angel attributes this 


exploit to Hercules, a fabulous hero, 
rather than to our Saviour. It would 
seem as if the good father had forgotten 
that Cerberus is himself no less a creature 
of the imagination than the hero who 
encountered him. 



CANTO IX 


HELL 
This said, he turn'd back o'er the filthy \vay, 
And syllable to us spake none; but wore 
The semblance of a man by other care 
Beset, and keenly prest, than thought of him 
Who in his presence stands. Then we our steps 
Toward that territory moved, secure 
After the hallow'd words. We, unopposed, 
There enter'd; and, my mind eager to learn 
What state a fortress like to that might hold, 
I, soon as enter'd, throw mine eye around, 
And see, on every part, wide-stretching space, 
Replete with bitter pain and torment ill. 
As where Rhone stagnates on the plains of ArIes,s 
Or as at Pola,6 near Quarnaro's gulf, 
That closes Italy and laves her bounds, 
The place is all thick spread with sepulchres; 
So was it here, save what in horror here 
Excell'd: for 'midst the graves were scattered flames, 
Wherewith intensely all throughout they burn'd, 
That iron for no craft there hotter needs. 
Their lids all hung suspended; and beneath, 
From them forth issued lamentable moans, 
Such as the sad and tortured well might raise. 
I thus: "Master! say who are these, interr'd 
Within these vaults, of whom distinct we hear 
The dolorous sighs." He answer thus return'd: 
"The arch-heretics are here, accompanied 
By every sect their followers; and much more 
Than thou believest, the tombs are freighted: like 
With like is buried; and the monuments 
Are different in degrees of heat." This said, 
He to the right hand turning, on we pass'd 
Betwixt the afflicted and the ramparts high. 


39 


5 "The plains of ArIes." In Provençe. 
These sepulchres are mentioned in the 
Life of Charlemagne, which has been at- 
tributed to Archbishop Turpin, cap. 28, 


and 30, and by Fazio degIi Uberti, Dit- 
tamondo, L. iv. cap. xxi. 
6 "At Pola." A city of Istria, situated 
near the gulf of Quarnaro, in the Adriatic 
Sea. 



4 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO X 


CANTO X 


ARGUMENT.-Dante, having obtained permission from his guide, holds discourse 
with Farinata degli Uberti and Cavalcante Cavalcanti, who lie in their fiery tombs 
that are yet open, and not to be closed up till after the last judgment. Farinata pre- 
dicts the Poet's exile from Florence; and shows him that the condemned have knowl- 
edge of future things, but are ignorant of what is at present passing, unless it be 
revealed by some newcomer from earth. 


N ow by a secret pathway we proceed, 
Between the walls, that hem the region round, 
And the tormented souls: my master first, 
I dose behind his steps. "Virtue supreme!" 
I thus began: "Who through these ample orbs 
In circuit lead'st me, even as thou will'st; 
Speak thou, and satisfy my wish. May those, 
Who lie within these sepulchres, be seen? 
Already all the lids are raised, and none 
O'er them keeps watch." He thus in answer spake: 
"They shall be closed all, what-time they here 
From JO'taphat 1 return'd shall come, and bring 
Their bodies, which above they now have left. 
The cemetery on this part obtain, 
With Epicurus, all his followers, 
Who with the body make the spirit die. 
Here therefore satisfaction shall be soon, 
Both to the question ask'd, and to the wish 2 
Which thou conceal'st in silence." I replied: 
"I keep not, guide beloved! from thee my heart 
Secreted, but to shun vain length of words; 
A lesson erewhile taught me by thyself." 
"0 Tuscan! thou, who through the city of fire 
Alive art passing, so discreet of speech: 
Here, please thee, stay awhile. Thy utterance 
Declares the place of thy nativity 
To be that noble land, with which perchance 
II1Josaphat." It seems to have been a and for my heritage Israel, whom they 
common opinion among the Jews, as well have scattered among the nations, and 
as among many Christians, that the gen- parted my land."-Joel, iii. 2. 
eral judgment will be held in the valley 2 "The wish." The wish that Dante 
of Josaphat, or Jehoshaphat. "I will also had not expressed was to see and con- 
gather all nations, and will bring them verse with the followers of Epicurus; 
down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and among whom, we shall see, were Farinata 
will plead with them there for my people, degli Uberti and Cavalcante Cavalcanti. 



CANTO X 


HELL 


4 1 


I too severely dealt." Sudden that sound 
Forth issued from a vault, whereat, in fear, 
I somewhat closer to my leader's side 
Approaching, he thus spake: "What dost thou? Turn: 
Lo! Farinata 3 there, who hath himself 
Uplifted: from his girdle upwards, all 
Exposed, behold him." On his face was mine 
Already fix'd: his breast and forehead there 
Erecting, seem'd as in high scorn he held 
E' en Hell. Between the sepulchres, to him 
My guide thrust me, with fearless hands and prompt; 
This warning added: "See thy words be clear." 
He, soon as there I stood at the tomb's foot, 
Eyed me a space; then in disdainful mood 
Address'd me: "Say what ancestors were thine." 
I, willing to obey him, straight reveal'd 
The whole, nor kept back aught: whence he, his brow 
Somewhat uplifting, cried: "Fiercely were they 
Adverse to me, my party, and the blood 
From whence I sprang: twice,4 therefore, I abroad 
Scatter'd them." "Though driven out, yet they each 
time 
From all parts," answer'd I, "return'd; an art 
Which yours have shown they are not skill'd to learn." 
Then, peering forth from the unclosed jaw, 
Rose from his side a shade,5 high as the chin, 
Leaning, me thought, upon its knees upraised. 
It look'd around, as eager to explore 
If there were other with me; but perceiving 
That fond imagination quench'd, with tears 
Thus spake: "If thou through this blind prison go'st, 
Led by thy lofty genius and profound, 


3 "Farinata." Farinata degli Uberti, a 
noble Florentine, was the leader of the 
Ghibelline faction, when they obtained 
a signal victory over the Guelfi. at Monta- 
perto, near the river Arbia. Macchiavelli 
calls him "a man of exalted soul, and 
great military talents."-"Hist. of Flor." 
b. ii. His grandson, Bonifacio, commonly 
called Fazio degli Uberti, wrote a poem, 


entitled the "Dittamonodo," in imitation 
of Dante. 
4 "Twice." The first time in 12 48, 
when they were driven out by Frederick 
the Second. See G. Villani, lib. vi. c. 
xxxiv.; and the second time in 1260. 
See note to v. 83. 
5 leA shade:' The spirit of Cavalcante 
Cavalcanti, a noble Florentine, of the 
Guelf party. 



4 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO X 


Where is my son?6 and wherefore not with thee?" 
I straight replied: "Not of myself I come; 
By him, who there expects me, through this clime 
Conducted, whom perchance Guido thy son 
Had in contempt." 7 Already had his words 
And mode of punishment read me his name, 
Whence I so fully answer'd. He at once 
Exclaim' d, up starting, "How! said' st thou, he had? 
No longer lives he? Strikes not on his eye 
The blessed daylight?" Then, of some delay 
I made ere my reply, aware, down fell 
Supine, nor after forth appear'd he more. 
Meanwhile the other, great of soul, near whom 
I yet was station'd, changed not countenance stern, 
Nor moved the neck, nor bent his ribbed side. 
"And if," continuing the first discourse, 
"They in this art," he cried, "small skill have shown; 
That doth torment me more e'en than this bed. 
But not yet fifty times 8 shall be relumed 
Her aspect, who reigns here queen of this realm,9 
Ere thou shalt know the full weight of that art. 
So to the pleasant world mayst thou return, 
As thou shalt tell me why, in all their laws, 
Against my kin this people is so fell." 
"The slaughter lO and great havoc," I replied, 
"That color'd Arbia's flood with crimson stain- 


6 "My son." Guido, the son of Caval- 
cante Cavalcanti; "he whom I call the 
first of my friends," says Dante in his 
"Vita Nuova" where the commencement 
of their friendship is related. From the 
character given of him by contemporary 
writers, his temper was well formed to 
assimilate with that of our Poet. "He 
was," according to G. Villani, lib. viii. 
c. xli., "of a philosophical and elegant 
mind, if he had not been too delicate and 
fastidious." 
7 "- Guido they soon 
Had in contempt." 
Guido Cavalcanti, being more given to 
philosophy than poetry, was perhaps no 
great admirer of Virgil. 
8 "Not yet fifty times." "Not fifty 


months shall be passed, before thou shalt 
learn, by woeful experience, the difficulty 
of returning from banishment to thy 
native city." 
9 "Queen of this realm." The moon, 
one of whose titles in heathen mythology 
was Proserpine, queen of the shades be- 
low. 
10 "The slaughter." "By means of 
Farinata degli Uberti, the Guelfi were 
conquered by the army of King Man- 
fredi, near the river Arbia, with so great 
a slaughter, that those who escaped from 
that defeat took refuge, not in Florence, 
which city they considered as lost to them, 
but in Lucca."-Macchiavelli, "Hist. of 
Flor." b. ii. and G. Villani, Jib. vi. c. 
Ixxx. and lxxxi. 



CANTO X 


HELL 


43 


To these impute, that in our hallow'd dome 
Such orisons ll ascend." Sighing he shook 
The head, then thus resumed: "In that affray 
I stood not singly, nor, without just cause, 
Assuredly, should with the rest have stirr'd; 
But singly there I stood/ 2 when, by consent 
Of all, Florence had to the ground been razed, 
The one who openly forbade the deed." 
"So may thy lineage find at last repose," 
I thus adjured him, "as thou solve this knot, 
Which now involves my mind. If right I hear, 
Ye seem to view beforehand that which time 
Leads with him, of the present uninform'd." 
"We view, as one who hath an evil sight," 
He answer'd, "plainly, objects far remote; 
So much of his large splendor yet imparts 
The Almighty Ruler: but when they approach, 
Or actually exist, our intellect 
Then wholly fails; nor of your human state, 
Except what others bring us, know we aught. 
Hence therefore mayst thou understand, that all 
Our knowledge in that instant shall expire, 
When on futurity the portals close." 
Then conscious of my fault,13 and by remorse 
Smitten, I added thus: "Now shalt thou say 
To him there fallen, that his offspring still 
Is to the living join'd; and bid him know, 
That if from answer, silent, I abstain'd, 


11 "Such orisons." This appears to al- 
lude to certain prayers which were of- 
fered up in the churches of Florence, for 
deliverance from the hostile attempts of 
the Uberti; or, it may be that the public 
councils being held in churches, the 
speeches delivered in them against the 
Uberti are termed "orisons," or prayers. 
12 "Singly there I stood." Guido Novello 
assembled a council of the Ghibellini at 
Empoli; where it was agreed by all, that, 
in order to maintain the ascendancy of the 
Ghibelline party in Tuscany, it was neces- 
sary to destroy Florence, which could 
serve only (the people of that city being 
GueJfi.) to enable the party attached to 


the church to recover its strength. This 
cruel sentence, passed upon so noble a 
city, met with no opposition from any of 
its citizens or friends, except Farinata 
degli Uberti, who openly and without 
reserve forbade the measure; affirming, 
that he had endured so many hardships, 
with no other view than that of being 
able to pass his days in his own country. 
Macchiavelli, Hist. of Flor. b. ii. 
13 "My fault." Dante felt remorse for 
not having returned an immediate an- 
swer to the inquiry of Cavalcante, from 
which delay he was led to believe that 
his son Guido was no longer living. 



44 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO X 


'Twas that my thought was occupied, intent 
Upon that error, which thy help hath solved." 
But now my master summoning me back 
I heard, and with more eager haste besought 
The spirit to inform me, who with him 
Partook his lot. He answer thus return'd: 
"More than a thousand with me here are laid. 
Within is Frederick,14 second of that name, 
And the Lord Cardinal,15 and of the rest 
I speak not." He, this said, from sight withdrew. 
But I my steps toward the ancient bard 
Reverting, ruminated on the words 
Betokening me such ill. Onward he moved, 
And thus, in going, question'd: "Whence the amaze 
That holds thy senses wrapt?" I satisfied 
The inquiry, and the sage enjoin'd me straight: 
"Let thy safe memory store what thou hast heard, 
To thee importing harm; and note thou this," 
With his raised finger bidding me take heed, 
"When thou shalt stand before her gracious beam,16 
Whose bright eye all surveys, she of thy life 
The future tenor will to thee unfold." 
Forthwith he to the left hand turn'd his feet: 
We left the wall, and toward the middle space 
Went by a path that to a valley strikes, 
Which e'en thus high exhaled its noisome steam. 


14 "Frederick." The Emperor Frederick 
II:.,. who died in 1250. See notes to Canto 
Xlll. 
15 "The Lord CardinaI." Ottaviano 
Ubaldini, a Florentine, made cardinal in 
1245, and deceased about 1273. On ac- 
count of his great influence, he was 


generally known by the appellation of 
"the Cardinal." It is reported of him 
that he declared if there were any such 
thing as a human soul he had lost his 
for the Ghibellini. 
16 "Her gracious beam." Beatrice. 



CANTO XI 


HELL 


45 


CANTO XI 
ARGUMENT.-Dante arrives at the verge of a rocky precipice which encloses the 
seventh circle, where he sees the sepulchre of Anastasius the Heretic; behind the lid 
of which pausing a little, to make himself capable by degrees of enduring the fetid 
smell that steamed upward from the abyss, he is instructed by Virgil concerning the 
manner in which the three following circles are disposed, and what description of 
sinners is punished in each. He then inquires the reason why the carnal, the 
gluttonous, the avaricious and prodigal, the wrathful and gloomy, suffer not their 
punishments within the city of Dis. He next asks how the crime of usury is an 
offence against God; and at length the two Poets go toward the place from whence a 
passage leads down to the seventh circle. 


U PON the utmost verge of a high bank, 
By craggy rocks environ'd round, we came. 
Where woes beneath, more cruel yet, were 
stow'd: 
And here, to shun the horrible excess 
Of fetid exhalation upward cast 
From the profound abyss, behind the lid 
Of a great monument we stood retired, 
Whereon this scroll I mark'd: "I have in charge 
Pope Anastasius/ whom Photinus drew 
From the right path." "Ere our descent, behoves 
We make delay, that somewhat first the sense, 
To the dire breath accustom'd, aftenvard 
Regard it not." My master thus; to whom 
Answering I spake: "Some compensation find, 
That the time pass not wholly lost." He then: 
"Lo! how my thoughts e'en to thy wishes tend. 
My son! within these rocks," he thus began, 
"Are three close circles in gradation placed, 
As these \vhich now thou leavest. Each one is full 
Of spirits accurst; but that the sight alone 
Hereafter may suffice thee, listen how 
A.nd for what cause in durance they abide. 
"Of all malicious act abhorr'd in Heaven, 
The end is injury; and all such end 
Either by force or fraud works other's woe. 
But fraud, because of man's peculiar evil, 


1 By some supposed to have been Anastasius II.; by others, the fourth of that name; 
willIe a third set, jealous of the integrity of the papal faith, contend that our poet 
has confounded him with Anastasius I., Emperor of the East. 



4 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XI 


To God is more displeasing; and beneath, 
The fraudulent are therefore doom'd to endure 
Severer pang. The violent occupy 
All the first circle; and because, to force, 
Three persons are obnoxious, in three rounds, 
Each within other separate, is it framed. 
To God, his neighbor, and himself, by man 
Force may be offer'd; to himself I say, 
And his possessions, as thou soon shalt hear 
At full. Death, violent death, and painful wounds 
Upon his neighbor he inflicts; and wastes, 
By devastation, pillage, and the flames, 
His substance. Slayers, and each one that smites 
In malice, plunderers, and all robbers, hence 
The torment undergo of the first round, 
In different herds. Man can do violence 
To himself and his own blessings: and for this, 
He, in the second round must aye deplore 
With unavailing penitence his crime, 
Whoe'er deprives himself of life and light, 
In reckless lavishment his talent wastes, 
And sorrows there where he should dwell in joy. 
To God may force be offer'd, in the heart 
Denying and blaspheming His high power, 
And Nature with her kindly law contemning. 
And thence the inmost round marks with its seal 
Sod om, and Cahors, and all such as speak 
Contemptuously of the Godhead in their hearts. 
"Fraud, that in every conscience leaves a sting, 
May be by man employ'd on one, whose trust 
He wins, or on another, who withholds 
Strict confidence. SeeIns as the latter way 
Broke but the bond of love which Nature makes. 
Whence in the second circle have their nest, 
Dissimulation, witchcraft, flatteries, 
Theft, falsehood, simony, all who seduce 
To lust, or set their honesty at pawn, 
With such vile scum as these. The other way 
Forgets both Nature's general love, and that 
Which thereto added afterward gives birth 
To special faith. Whence in the lesser circle, 



CANTO XI 


HELL 


47 


Point of the universe, dread seat of Dis, 
The traitor is eternally consumed." 
I thus: "Instructor, clearly thy discourse 
Proceeds, distinguishing the hideous chasm 
And its inhabitants with skill exact. 
But tell me this: they of the dull, fat pool, 
Whom the rain beats, or whom the tempest drives, 
Or \vho with tongues so fierce conflicting meet, 
Wherefore within the city fire-illumed 
Are not these punish'd, if God's wrath be on them? 
And if it be not, wherefore in such guise 
Are they condemn'd?" He answer thus return'd: 
"Wherefore in dotage wanders thus thy mind, 
Not so accustom'd? or what other thoughts 
Possess it? Dwell not in thy memory 
The words, wherein thy ethic page 2 describes 
Three dispositions adverse to Heaven's will, 
Incontinence, malice, and mad brutishness, 
And how incontinence the least offends 
God, and least guilt incurs? If well thou note 
This judgment, and remember who they are, 
Without these walls to vain repentance doom'd, 
Thou shalt discern why they apart are placed 
From these fell spirits, and less wreakful pours 
Justice divine on them its vengeance down." 
"0 sunl who healest all imperfect sight, 
Thou so content'st me, when thou solvest my doubt, 
That ignorance not less than knowledge charms. 
Yet somewhat turn thee back," I in these words 
Continued, "where thou said'st, that usury 
Offends celestial Goodness; and this knot 
Perplex'd unravel." He thus made reply: 
"Philosophy, to an attentive ear, 
Clearly points out, not in one part alone, 
How imitative Nature takes her course 
From the celestial mind, and from its art: 
And where her laws 3 the Stagirite unfolds, 


2 UThy ethic page." He refers to 
Aristotle's Ethics, lib. vii. c. I: "-let 
it be defined that respecting morals there 
are three sorts of things to be avoided, 


malice, incontinence, and brutishness." 
3 "Her laws." Aristotle's Physics, lib. 
ii. C. 2: "Art imitates nature." 



4 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XII 


Not many leaves scann'd o'er, observing well 
Thou shalt discover, that your art on her 
Obsequious follows, as the learner treads 
In his instructor's step; so that your art 
Deserves the name of second in descent 
From God. These two, if thou recall to mind 
Creation's holy book,4 from the beginning 
Were the right source of life and excellence 
To human-kind. But in another path 
The usurer walks; and Nature in herself 
And in her follower thus he sets at nought, 
Placing elsewhere his hope. 5 But follow now 
My steps on forward journey bent; for now 
The Pisces play with undulating glance 
Along the horizon, and the Wain 6 lies all 
O'er the northwest; and onward there a space 
Is our steep passage down the rocky height." 


CANTO XII 


ARGUMENT.-Descending by a very rugged way into the seventh circle, where the 
violent are punished, Dante and his leader find it guarded by the Minotaur; whose 
fury being pacified by Virgil, they step downward from crag to crag; till, drawing 
near the bottom, they descry a river of blood, wherein are tormented such as have 
committed violence against their neighbor. At these, when they strive to emerge 
from the blood, a troop of Centaurs, running along the side of the river, aim their 
arrows; and three of their band opposing our travellers at the foot of the steep, 
Virgil prevails so far that one consents to carry them both across the stream; and on 
their passage, Dante is informed by him of the course of the river, and of those that 
are punished therein. 
T HE place, where to descend the precipice 
We came, was rough as Alp; and on its verge 
Such object lay, as every eye would shun. 
As is that ruin, which Adice's stream 1 
4 "Creation's holy book." Genesis, c. he does not avail himself of the means 
ii. v. IS: "And the Lord God took the which art, the follower and imitator of 
man, and put him into the Garden of nature, would afford him for the same 
Eden, to dress it, and to keep it." And, purposes. 
Genesis, c. iii. v. 19: "In the sweat of 6 "The Wain." The constellation 
thy face shalt thou eat bread." Bootes, or Charles's Wain. 
S "Placing elsewhere his hope." The 1 "Ad ice's stream." After a great deal 
usurer, trusting in the produce of his having been said on the subject, it still 
wealth lent out on usury, despises nature appears very uncertain at what part of 
directly, because he does not avail him- the river this fall of the mountain hap- 
self of her means for maintaining or en- pened. 
riching himself; and indirectly, because 



CANTO XII 


HELL 


49 


On this side Trento struck, shouldering the wave, 
Or loosed by earthquake or for lack of prop; 
For from the mountain's summit, whence it moved 
To the lo\v level, so the headlong rock 
Is shiver'd, that some passage it might give 
To him who from above would pass; e'en such 
Into the chasm was that descent: and there 
At point of the disparted ridge lay stretch'd 
The infamy of Crete,2 detested brood 
Of the feign'd heifer: 3 and at sight of us 
It gnaw'd itself, as one with rage distract. 
To him my guide exclaim'd: "Perchance thou deem'st 
The King of Athens 4 here, who, in the world 
Above, thy death contrived. Monster! avaunt! 
He comes not tutor'd by thy sister's art,5 
But to behold your torments is he come." 
Like to a bull, that with impetuous spring 
Darts, at the moment when the fatal blo\v 
Hath struck him, but unable to proceed 
Plunges on either side; so sa\v I plunge 
The Minotaur; whereat the sage exclaim'd: 
"Run to the passage! while he storms, 'tis well 
That thou descend." Thus down our road we took 
Through those dilapidated crags, that oft 
Moved underneath my feet, to weight like theirs 
Unused. I pondering went, and thus he spake: 
"Perhaps thy thoughts are of this ruin'd steep, 
Guarded by the brute violence, which I 
Have vanquish'd now. Know then, that when I erst 
Hither descended to the nether Hell, 
This rock was not yet fallen. But past doubt, 
(If well I mark) not long ere He arrived,6 
Who carried off from Dis the mighty spoil 
Of the highest circle, then through all its bounds 


2 "The infamy of Crete." The Mino- 
taur. 
3 uThe feign'd heifer." Pasiphaë. 
.( uThe King of Athens." Theseus, who 
was enabled by the instruction of Ariadne, 
the sister of the Minotaur, to destroy that 
monster. 


5 UThy sister's art." Ariadne. 
6 Our Saviour, who, according to Dante, 
when he ascended from Hell, carried with 
him the souls of the Patriarchs, and of 
other just men, out of the first circle. 
See Canto iv. 



50 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XII 


Such trembling seized the deep concave and foul, 
I thought the universe was thrill'd with love, 
Whereby, there are who deem, the world hath oft 
Been into chaos turn'd: and in that point, 
Here, and elsewhere, that old rock toppled down. 
But fix thine eyes beneath: the river of blood 
Approaches, in the which all those are steep'd, 
Who have by violence injured." 0 blind lust! 
o foolish wrath! who so dost goad us on 
In the brief life, and in the eternal then 
Thus miserably o'erwhelm us. I beheld 
An ample foss, that in a bow was bent, 
As circling all the plain; for so my guide 
Had told. Bet\veen it and the rampart's base, 
On trail ran Centaurs, with keen arro\vs arm'd, 
As to the chase they on the earth were wont. 
At seeing us descend they each one stood; 
And issuing from the troop, three sped with bows 
And missile weapons chosen first; of whom 
One cried from far: "Say, to what pain ye come 
Condemn'd, who down this steep have journey'd. Speak 
From whence ye stand, or else the bo\v I draw." 
To whom my guide: "Our answer shall be made 
To Chiron, there, when nearer him we come. 
III was thy mind, thus ever quick and rash." 
Then me he touch'd and spake: "Nessus is this, 
Who for the fair Deianira died, 
And wrought himself revenge 7 for his own fate. 
He in the midst, that on his breast looks down, 
Is the great Chiron who Achilles nursed; 
That other, Pholus, prone to wrath." Around 
The foss these go by thousands, aiming shafts 
At whatsoever spirit dares emerge 
From out the blood, more than his guilt allows. 
We to those beasts, that rapid strode along, 
Dre\v near; when Chiron took an arrow forth, 


7 Nessus, when dying by the hand of 
Hercules, charged Deïanira to preserve 
the gore from his wound; for that if the 
affections of Hercules should at any time 
be estranged from her, it would recall 


them. Deïanira had occasion to try the 
experiment; and the venom, as Nessus 
had intended, caused Hercules to expire 
in torments. 



CANTO XII 


51 


HELL 
And with the notch push'd back his shaggy beard 
To the cheek-bone, then, his great mouth to view 
Exposing, to his fellows thus exclaim'd: 
"Are ye aware, that he who comes behind 
Moves what he touches? The feet of the dead 
Are not so wont." My trusty guide, who no\v 
Stood near his breast, where the two natures join, 
Thus made reply: "He is indeed alive, 
And solitary so must needs by me 
Be shown the gloomy vale, thereto induced 
By strict necessity, not by delight. 
She left her joyful harpings in the sky, 
Who this new office to my care consign'd. 
He is no robber, no dark spirit I. 
But by that virtue, which empowers my step 
To tread so wild a path, grant us, I pray, 
One of thy band, whom we may trust secure, 
Who to the ford may lead us, and convey 
Across, him mounted on his back; for he 
Is not a spirit that may walk the air." 
Then on his right breast turning, Chiron thus 
To Nessus spake: "Return, and be their guide. 
And if ye chance to cross another troop, 
Command them keep aloof." Onward we moved, 
The faithful escort by our side, along 
The border of the crimson-seething flood, 
Whence, from those steep'd within, loud shrieks arose. 
Some there I mark'd, as high as to their brow 
Immersed, of whom the mighty Centaur thus: 
"These are the souls of tyrants, who were given 
To blood and rapine. Here they wail aloud 
Their merciless wrongs. Here Alexander dwells, 
And Dionysius fell, who many a year 
Of woe wrought for fair Sicily. That brow, 
Whereon the hair so jetty clustering hangs, 
Is Azzolino;8 that with flaxen locks 


8 Azzolino, or Ezzolino di Romano, 
Lord of Padua, Vicenza, Verona, and 
Brescia, who died in 1260. His atroci. 
ties form the subject of a Latin tragedy, 


Eccerinis, by Albertino Mussato, of Padua, 
contemporary of Dante, and the most 
elegant writer of Latin verse of that age. 



52 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XII 


Obizzo 9 of Este, in the world destroy'd 
By his foul step-son." To the bard revered 
I turn'd me round, and thus he spake: "Let him 
Be to thee now first leader, me but next 
To him in rank." Then further on a space 
The Centaur paused, near some, who at the throat 
Were extant from the wave; and, sho\ving us 
A spirit by itself apart retired, 
Exclaim'd: "He lO in God's bosom smote the heart, 
Which yet is honored on the bank of Thames." 
A race I next espied who held the head, 
And even all the bust, above the stream. 
'Midst these I many a face remember'd well. 
Thus shallow more and more the blood became, 
So that at last it but imbrued the feet; 
And there our passage lay athwart the foss. 
"As ever on this side the boiling wave 
Thou seest diminishing," the Centaur said, 
"So on the other, be thou well assured, 
It lower still and lower sinks its bed, 
Till in that part it reuniting join, 
Where 'tis the lot of tyranny to mourn. 
There Heaven's stern justice lays chastising hand 
On Attila, who was the scourge of earth, 
On Sextus and on Pyrrhus,l1 and extracts 
Tears ever by the seething flood unlock'd 
From the Rinieri, of Corneto this, 
Pazzo the other named,t2 who fill'd the ways 


9 ccObizzo of Este.
' Marquis of Ferrara 
and of the Marca d' Ancona, was mur- 
dered by his own son (whom, for that 
most unnatural act, Dante calls his step- 
son) for the sake of the treasures which 
his rapacity had amassed. 
10 "He." "Henrie, the brother of this 
Edmund, and son to the foresaid King 
of Almaine (Richard, brother of Henry 
III of England), as he returned from 
Affrike, where he had been with Prince 
Edward, was slain at Viterbo in Italy 
by the hand of Guy de Montfort, the son 
of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, 
in revenge of the same Simon's death. 
The murther was committed afore the 


high altar, as the same Henrie kneeled 
there to hear divine service." A. D. 12 72. 
-Holinshed's Chron., p. 275. See also 
Giov. Villani, "Hist." lib. vii. c. xl., where 
it is said "that the heart of Henry was 
put into a golden cup, and placed on a 
pillar at London Bridge for a memorial 
to the English of the said outrage." 
11 Sextus, either the son of Tarquin 
the Proud or of Pompey the Great; and 
Pyrrhus, King of Epirus. 
12 Two noted marauders, by whose dep- 
redations the public ways were infested. 
The latter was of the noble family of 
Pazzi in Florence. 



CANTO XIII 


HELL 


53 


With violence and war." This said, he turn'd, 
And quitting us, alone repass'd the ford. 


CANTO XIII 


ARGUMENT.-Still in the seventh circle, Dante enters its second compartment, which 
contains both those who have done violence on their own persons and those who have 
violently consumed their goods; the first changed into rough and knotted trees whereon 
the harpies build their nests, the latter chased and torn by black female mastiffs. 
Among the former, Piero delle Vigne is one who tells him the cause of his having 
committed suicide, and moreover in what manner the souls are transformed into 
those trunks. Of the latter crew, he recognizes Lana, a Siennese, and Giacomo. a 
Paduan; and lastly, a Florentine, who had hung himself from his own roof, speaks to 
him of the calamities of his countrymen. 


E RE N essus yet had reach'd the other bank, 
We enter'd on a forest, where no track 
Of steps had worn away . Not verdant there 
The foliage, but of dusky hue; not light 
The boughs and tapering, but with knares deform'd 
And matted thick: fruits there were none, but thorns 
Instead, with venom fill'd. Less sharp than these, 
Less intricate the brakes, wherein abide 
Those animals, that hate the cultured fields, 
Betwixt Corneto and Cecina's stream.! 
Here the brute harpies make their nest, the same 
Who from the Strophades the Trojan band 
Drove with dire boding of their future woe. 
Broad are their pennons, of the human form 
Their neck and countenance, arm'd with talons keen 
The feet, and the huge belly fledged with wings. 
These sit and wail on the drear mystic wood. 
The kind instructor in these words began: 
"Ere further thou proceed, know thou art now 
I' th' second round, and shalt be, till thou come 
Upon the horrid sand: look therefore well 
Around thee, and such things thou shalt behold, 
As would my speech discredit." On all sides 
I heard sad plainings breathe, and none could see 
From whom they might have issued. In amaze 
Fast bound I stood. He, as it seem'd, believed 


1 A wild and woody tract, abounding 
in deer, goats, and wild boars. Cecina 
is a river not far to the south of Leg- 


horn; Corneto, a small city on the same 
coast, in the patrimony of the Church. 



S4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIII 


That I had thought so many voices came 
F rom some amiò those thickets close conceal' d, 
And thus his speech resum'd: "If thou lop off 
A single twig from one of those ill plants, 
The thought thou hast conceived shall vanish quite." 
Thereat a little stretching forth my hand, 
From a great 'wilding gather'd I a branch, 
And straight the trunk exclaim'd: "Why pluck'st thou 
?" 
me. 
Then, as the dark blood trickled down its side, 
These words it added: "Wherefore tear'st me thus? 
Is there no touch of mercy in thy breast? 
Men once were we, that now are rooted here. 
Thy hand might \vell have spared us, had we been 
The souls of serpents." As a brand yet green, 
That burning at one end from the other sends 
A groaning sound, and hisses with the wind 
That forces out its way, so burst at once 
Forth from the broken splinter words and blood. 
I, letting fall the bough, remain'd as one 
AssaiI'd by terror; and the sage replied: 
"If he, 0 injured spirid could have believed 
What he hath seen but in my verse described, 
He never against thee had stretch'd his hand. 
But I, because the thing surpass'd belicf, 
Prompted him to this deed, which even no\v 
Myself I rue. But tell me, who thou wast; 
That, for this wrong to do thee some alnends, 
In the upper world (for thither to return 
Is granted him) thy fame he may revive." 
"That pleasant word of thine," the trunk replied, 
"Hath so inveigled me, that I from speech 
Cannot refrain, wherein if I indulge 
A little longer, in the snare detain'd, 
Count it not grievous. I it was,2 who held 
% eel it was." Piero delle Vigne, a that he held a secret and traitorous inter- 
native of Capua, who from a low condi- course with the Pope, who was then at 
tion raised himself, by his eloquence and cnmity with th
 Emperor. He was cruelly 
legal knowledge, to the office of Chan- condemned to lose his eyes. Driven to 
cellor to the Emperor Frederick II. The despair by his unmerited calamity he 
courtiers, envious of his exalted situation, dashed out his brains against the walls 
forged letters to make Frederick believe of a church, in the year 1245. 



CANTO XIII 


HELL 


55 


Both keys to Frederick's heart, and turn'd the wards, 
Opening and shutting, \vith a skill so sweet, 
That besides me, into his inmost breast 
Scarce any other could admittance find. 
The faith I bore to my high charge was such, 
It cost me the life-blood that warm'd my veins. 
The harlot, who ne'er turn'd her gloating eyes 
From Cæsar's household, common vice and pest 
Of courts, 'gainst me inflamed the minds of all; 
And to Augustus they so spread the flame, 
That my glad honours changed to bitter woes. 
My soul, disdainful and disgusted, sought 
Refuge in death from scorn, and I became, 
Just as I was, unjust toward myself. 
By the new roots, which fix this stem, I swear, 
That never faith I broke to my liege lord, 
Who merited such honour; and of you, 
If any to the world indeed return, 
Clear he from wrong my memory, that lies 
Yet prostrate under envy's cruel blow." 
First somewhat pausing, till the mournful words 
Were ended, then to me the bard began: 
"Lose not the time; but speak, and of him ask, 
If more thou wish to learn." Whence I replied: 
"Question thou him again of whatsoe'er 
\Vill, as thou think'st, content me; for no power 
Have I to ask, such pity is at n1Y heart." 
He thus resumed: "So may he do for thee 
Freely what thou entreatest, as thou yet 
Be pleased, imprison'd spirit! to declare, 
How in these gnarled joints the soul is tied; 
And whether any ever from such frame 
Be loosen'd, if thou canst, that also tell." 
Thereat the trunk breathed hard, and the wind soon 
Changed into sounds articulate like these: 
"Briefly ye shall be answer'd. When departs 
The fierce soul from the body, by itself 
Thence torn asunder, to the seventh gulf 
By Minos doom'd, into the \vood it falls, 
No place assign'd, but wheresoever chance 



S6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XII! 


Hurls it; there sprouting, as a grain of spelt, 
It rises to a sapling, growing thence 
A savage plant. The harpies, on its leaves 
Then feeding, cause both pain, and for the pain 
A vent to grief. We, as the rest, shall come 
For our own spoils, yet not so that with them 
We may again be clad; for what a man 
Takes from himself it is not just he have. 
Here we perforce shall drag them; and throughout 
The dismal glade our bodies shall be hung, 
Each on the wild thorn of his wretched shade." 
Attentive yet to listen to the trunk 
We stood, expecting further speech, when us 
A noise surprised; as when a man perceives 
The \vild boar and the hunt approach his place 
Of station'd watch, who of the beasts and boughs 
Loud rustling round him hears. And lo! there came 
Two naked, torn with briers, in headlong flight, 
That they before them broke each fan 0' th' wood. 
"Haste now," the foremost cried, "now haste thee, 
death!" 
The other, as seem'd, impatient of delay, 
Exclaiming, "Lano!3 not so bent for speed 
Thy sinews, in the lists of Toppo's field." 
And then, for that perchance no longer breath 
Sufficed him, of himself and of a bush 
One group he made. Behind them was the wood 
Full of black female mastiffs, gaunt and fleet, 
As greyhounds that have newly slipt the leash. 
On him, who squatted down, they stuck their fangs, 
And having rent him piecemeal bore away 
The tortured limbs. My guide then seized my hand, 
And led me to the thicket, which in vain 
Mourn'd through its bleeding wounds: "0 Giacomo 
Of gant' Andrea!4 what avails it thee," 
3 Lano, a Siennese, who being reduced tain death, in the engagement which took 
by prodigality to a state of extreme want, place at Toppo, near Arezzo. See G. 
found his existence no longer supportable; Villani, Hist. lib. vii. c. cxix. 
and having been sent by his countrymen 4 J acopo da Sam' Andrea, a Paduan, 
on a military expedition to assist the who, having wasted his property in the 
Florentines against the Aretini, took that most wanton acts of profusion, killed 
opportunity of exposing himself to cer- himself in despair. 



CANTO XIV 


HELL 


57 


It cried, "that of me thou hast made thy screen? 
For thy ill life, what blame on me recoils?" 
When o'er it he had paused, my master spake: 
"Say who \vast thou, that at so many points 
Breathest out with blood thy lamentable speech?" 
He answer'd: "0 ye spirits! arrived in time 
To spy the shameful havoc that from me 
My leaves hath sever'd thus, gather them up, 
And at the foot of their sad parent-tree 
Carefully lay them. In that city5 I dwelt, 
Who for the Baptist her first patron changed, 
Whence he for this shall cease not with his art 
To work her woe: and if there still remain'd not 
On Arno's passage some faint glimpse of him, 
Those citizens, who rear'd once more her \valls 
Upon the ashes left by Attila, 
Had labor'd without profit of their toil. 
I slung the fatal noose 6 from my own roof." 


CANTO XIV 


ARGUMENT.-They arrive at the beginning of the third of those compart- 
ments into which this seventh circle is divided. It is a plain of dry and hot 
sand, where three kinds of violence are punished; namely, against God, against 
Nature, and against Art; and those who have thus sinned, are tormented 
by flakes of fire, which are eternally showering down upon them. Among 
the violent against God is found Capaneus, whose blasphemies they hear. 
Next, turning to the left along the forest of self-slayers, and having journeyed 
a little onward, they meet with a streamlet of blood that issues from the 
forest and traverses the sandy plain. Here Virgil speaks to our Poet of a hU!;e 
ancient statue that stands within Mount Ida in Crete, from a fissure in whi
h 
statue there is a dripping of tears, from which the said streamlet, together with 
the three other infernal rivers, are formed. 


S OON as the charity of native land 
Wrought in my bosom, I the scatter'd leaves 
Collected, and to him restored, who now 
Was hoarse with utterance. To the limit thence 
We came, which from the third the second round 
Divides, and where of justice is display'd 


5 " _ Florence, that city which 
changed her first patron Mars for St. John 
the Baptist." 


6 uI slung the fatal noose." We an: 
not informed who this suicide was; some 
calling him Rocco de' Mozzi, and others 
Lotto degli Agli. 



58 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIV 


Contrivance horrible. Things then first seen 
Clearlier to manifest, I tell how next 
A plain we reach'd, that from its sterile bed 
Each plant repell'd. The mournful wood waves round 
Its garland on all sides, as round the wood 
Spreads the sad foss. There, on the very edge, 
Our steps we stay'd. It was an area wide 
Of arid sand and thick, resembling most 
The soil that erst by Cato's foot was trod. 
Vengeance of heaven! Oh! how shouldst thou be 
fear'd 
By all, who read what here mine eyes beheld. 
Of naked spirits many a flock I saw, 
All weeping piteously, to different laws 
Subjected; for on the earth some lay supine, 
Some crouching close were seated, others paced 
Incessantly around; the latter tribe 
More numerous, those fewer who beneath 
The torment lay, but louder in their grief. 
O'er all the sand fell slowly \vafting down 
Dilated flakes of fire, as flakes of snow 
On Alpine summit, when the wind is hush'd. 
As, in the torrid Indian clime, the son 
Of Ammon saw, upon his warrior band 
Descending, solid flames, that to the ground 
Came down; whence he bethought him with his troop 
To trample on the soil; for easier thus 
The vapor was extinguish'd, while alone: 
So fell the eternal fiery flood, wherewith 
The marle glow'd underneath, as under stove 
The viands, doubly to augment the pain. 
Unceasing was the play of \vretched hands, 
Now this, now that way glancing, to shake off 
The heat, still falling fresh. I thus began: 
"Instructor! thou who all things overcomest, 
Except the hardy demons that rush'd forth 
To stop our entrance at the gate, say who 
Is yon huge spirit, that, as seems, heeds not 
The burning, but lies writhen in proud scorn, 
As by the sultry tempest immatured?" 



CANTO XIV 


HELL 
Straight he himself, who was aware I ask'd 
My guide of him, exclaim'd: "Such as I was 
When living, dead such now I am. If Jove 
Weary his workman out, from whom in ire 
He snatch'd the lightnings, that at my last day 
Transfix'd me; if the rest he weary out, 
At their black smithy laboring by turns, 
In Mongibello, while he cries aloud, 
'Help, help, good Mulciber!' as erst he cried 
In the Phlegræan warfare; and the bolts 
Launch he, full aim'd at me, with all his might; 
He never should enjoy a sweet revenge." 
Then thus my guide, in accent higher raised 
Than I before had heard him: "Capaneus! 
Thou art more punish'd, in that this thy pride 
Lives yet unquench'd: no torment, save thy rage, 
Were to thy fury pain proportion'd full." 
Next turning round to me, with milder lip 
He spake: "This of the seven kings was one, 
Who girt the Theban walls with siege, and held, 
As still he seems to hold, God in disdain, 
And sets His high omnipotence at naught. 
But, as I told him, his despiteful mood 
Is ornament well suits the breast that wears it. 
Follow me now; and look thou set not yet 
Thy foot in the hot sand, but to the wood 
Keep ever close." Silendy on we pass'd 
To where there gushes from the forest's bound 
A little brook, whose crimson'd wave yet lifts 
My hair with horror. As the rill, that runs 
From Bulicame,1 to be portion'd out 
Among the sinful women, so ran this 
Down through the sand; its bottom and each bank 
Stone-built, and either margin at its side, 
Whereon I straight perceived our passage lay. 
"Of all that I have shown thee, since that gate 
We enter'd first, whose threshold is to none 
1 A warm medicinal spring near would imply that it was the scene of 
Viterbo; the waters of which, as Landino licentious merriment among those who 
and Vellutelli affirm, passed by a place of frequented its baths. 
ill-fame. Venturi conjectures that Dante 


59 



60 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIV 


Denied, naught else so worthy of regard, 
As is this river, has thine eye discern'd, 
O'er which the flaming volley all is quench'd." 
So spake my guide; and I him thence besought, 
That having given me appetite to know, 
The food he too \vould give, that hunger craved. 
"In midst of ocean," forthwith he began, 
"A desolate country lies, which Crete is named; 
Under whose monarch, in old times, the world 
Lived pure and chaste. A mountain rises there, 
Call'd Ida, joyous once with leaves and streams, 
Deserted now like a forbidden thing. 
It was the spot which Rhea, Saturn's spouse, 
Chose for the secret cradle of her son; 
And better to conceal him, drown'd in shouts 
His infant cries. Within the mount, upright 
An ancient form there stands, and huge, that turns 
His shoulders toward Damiata; and at Rome, 
As in his mirror, looks. Of finest gold 
His head is shaped, pure silver are the breast 
And arms, thence to the middle is of brass, 
And downward all beneath well-temper'd steel, 
Save the right foot of potter's clay, on which 
Than on the other more erect he stands. 
Each part, except the gold, is rent throughout; 
And from the fissure tears distil, which join'd 
Penetrate to that cave. They in their course, 
Thus far precipitated down the rock, 
Form Acheron, and Styx, and Phlegethon; 
Then by this straiten'd channel passing hence 
Beneath e'en to the lowest depth of all, 
Form there Cocytus, of whose lake (thyself 
Shalt see it) I here give thee no account." 
Then I to him: "If from our world this sluice 
Be thus derived; wherefore to us but now 
Appears it at this edge?" He straight replied: 
"The place, thou know'st, is round: and though great 
part 
Thou have already past, still to the left 
Descending to the nethermost, not yet 



CANTO XV 


HELL 


61 


Hast thou the circuit made of the whole orb. 
Wherefore, if aught of new to us appear, 
It needs not bring up wonder in thy looks." 
Then I again inquired: "Where flo\v the 
treams 
Of Phlegethon and Lethe? for of one 
Thou tell' st not; and the other, of that shower, 
Thou say'st, is form'd." He answer thus return'd: 
"Doubtless thy questions all well pleased I hear. 
Yet the red seething wave 2 might have resolved 
One thou proposest. Lethe thou shalt see, 
But not within this hollow, in the place 
Whither,3 to lave themselves, the spirits go, 
Whose blame hath been by penitence removed." 
He added: "Time is now we quit the wood. 
Look thou my steps pursue: the margins give 
Safe passage, unimpeded by the flames; 
For over them all vapor is extinct." 


CANTO XV 


ARGUMENT.- Taking their way upon one of the mounds by which the streamlet, 
spoken of in the last Canto, was embanked, and having gone so far that they could 
no longer have discerned the forest if they had turned round to look for it, they meet a 
troop of spirits that come along the sand by the side of the pier. These are they who 
have done violence to Nature; and among them Dante distinguishes Brunetto Latini, 
who had been formerly his master; with whom, turning a little backward, he holds 
a discourse which occupies the remainder of this Canto. 
O NE of the solid margins bears us now 
Envelop'd in the mist, that, from the stream 
Arising, hovers o'er, and saves from fire 
Both piers and water. As the Flemings rear 
Their mound, 'twixt Ghent and Bruges, to chase back 
The ocean, fearing his tumultuous tide 
That drives toward them; or the Paduans theirs 
Along the Brenta, to defend their towns 
And castles, ere the genial warmth be felt 
On Chiarentana'sl top; such were the mounds, 
So framed, though not in height or bulk to these 
Made equal, by the master, whosoe'er 
2 Phlegethon. 3 The other side of Purgatory. 
1 A part of the Alps where the Brenta rises, swollen by melting snows. 



62 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XV 


He \vas, that raised them here. We from the wood 
Were now so far removed, that turning round 
I might not have discern'd it, when we met 
A troop of spirits, who came beside the pier. 
They each one eyed us, as at eventide 
One eyes another under a new moon; 
And toward us sharpen'd their sight, as keen 
As an old tailor at his needle's eye. 
Thus narrowly explored by all the tribe, 
I was agnized of one, who by the skirt 
Caught me, and cried, "What wonder have we here?" 
And I, when he to me outstretch'd his arm, 
Intently fix'd my ken on his parch'd looks, 
That, although smirch'd with fire, they hinder'd not 
But I remember'd him; and toward his face 
My hand inclining, answer'd: "Ser Brunetto!2 
And are ye here?" He thus to me: "My sonl 
Oh let it not displease thee, if Brunetto 
Latini but a little space with thee 
Turn back, and leave his fellows to proceed." 
I thus to him replied: "Much as I can, 
I thereto pray thee; and if thou be willing 
That I here seat me with thee, I consent; 
His leave, with whom I journey, first obtain'd." 
"0 son!" said he, "whoever of this throng 
One instant stops, lies then a hundred years, 
No fan to ventilate him, when the fire 
Smitest sorest. Pass thou therefore on. I close 
Will at thy garments walk, and then rejoin 
My troop, who go mourning their endless doom." 
I dared not from the path descend to tread 
On equal ground with him, but held my head 
Bent down, as one who walks in reverent guise. 
"What chance or destiny," thus he began, 
"Ere the last day, conducts thee here below? 
And who is this that shows to thee the way?" 


2 "Ser Brunetto, a Florentine, the secre- 
tary or chancellor of the city, and Dante's 
preceptor, hath left us a work so little 
read, that both the subj
ct of it and the 
language of it have been mistaken. It 


is in the French spoken in the reign of 
St. Louis, under the title of 'Tresor'; and 
contains a species of philosophical lec- 
tures. " 



CANTO XV 


HELL 


63 


"There up aloft," I answer'd, "in the life 
Serene, I wander'd in a valley lost, 
Before mine age had to its fulness reach'd. 
But yester-morn I left it: then once more 
Into that vale returning, him I met; 
And by this path homeward he leads me back." 
"If thou," he answer'd, "follow but thy star, 
Thou canst not miss at last a glorious haven; 
Unless in fairer days my judgment err'd. 
And if my fate so early had not chanced, 
Seeing the heavens thus bounteous to thee, I 
Had gladly given thee comfort in thy work. 
But that ungrateful and malignant race, 
Who in old times came down from F esole, 
A y and still smack of their rough mountain flint, 
Will for thy good deeds show thee enmity. 
Nor \vonder; for amongst ill-savor'd crabs 
It suits not the sweet fig-tree lay her fruit. 
Old fame reports them in the world for blind, 
Covetous, envious, proud. Look to it well: 
Take heed thou cleanse thee of their ways. For thee, 
Thy fortune hath such honor in reserve, 
That thou by either party shalt be craved 
With hunger keen: but be the fresh herb far 
From the goat's tooth. The herd of Fesole 
May of themselves make litter, not touch the plant, 
If any such yet spring on their rank bed, 
In which the holy seed revives, transmitted 
From those true Romans, who still there remain'd, 
When it was made the nest of so much ill." 
"Were all my wish fulfill'd," I straight replied, 
"Thou from the confines of man's nature yet 
Hadst not been driven forth; for in my mind 
Is fix'd, and now strikes full upon my heart, 
The dear, benign, paternal image, such 
As thine was, when so lately thou didst teach me 
The way for man to win eternity: 
And how I prized the lesson, it behoves, 
That, long as life endures, my tongue should speak. 
What of my fate thou tell'st, that write I do\vn; 



64 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XV 


And, with another text 3 to comment on, 
For her I keep it, the celestial dame, 
Who will know all, if I to her arrive. 
This only would I have thee clearly note: 
That, so my conscience have no plea against me, 
Do Fortune as she list, I stand prepared. 
Not new or strange such earnest to mine ear. 
Speed Fortune then her wheel, as likes her best; 
The clown his mattock; all things have their course." 
Thereat my sapient guide upon his right 
Turn'd himself back, then looked at me, and spake: 
"He listens to good purpose who takes note." 
I not the less still on my way proceed, 
Discoursing with Brunetto, and inquire 
Who are most known and chief among his tribe. 
"To know of some is well;" he thus replied, 
"But of the rest silence may best beseem. 
Time would not serve us for report so long. 
In brief I tell thee, that all these were clerks, 
Men of great learning and no less reno\vn, 
By one same sin polluted in the world. 
With them is Priscian; and Accorso's son, 
Francesco,4 herds among the wretched throng: 
And, if the wish of so impure a blotch 
Possess'd thee, him 5 thou also mightst have seen, 
Who by the servants' servant was transferr'd 
From Arno's seat to Bacchiglione, where 
His ill-strain'd nerves he left. I more would add, 
But must from further speech and onward way 
Alike desist; for yonder I behold 
A mist new-risen on the sandy plain. 
A company, with whom I may not sort, 


3 "With another text." He refers to 
the predictions of Farinata, in Canto x. 
4. "Francesco." Accorso, a Florentine, 
interpreted the Roman law at Bologna, 
and died in 1229, at the age of 78. His 
authority was so great as to exceed that 
of aU the other interpreters, so that Cino 
da PistOla termed him the Idol of Advo- 
cates. His sepulchre, and that of his son 
Francesco here spoken of, is at Bologna, 


with this short epitaph: "Sepulcrum 
Accursii Glossatoris et Frandsci eus Filii:' 
5 "Him." Andrea de' Mozzi, who, that 
his scandalous life might be less exposed 
to observation, was translated either b}. 
Nicholas III or Boniface VIII from the see 
of Florence to that of Vicenza, through 
which passes the river Bacchiglione. He 
died at Vicenza. 



CANTO XVI 


HELL 


6S 


Approaches. I commend my Treasure to thee, 
Wherein I yet survive; my sole request." 
This said, he turn'd, and seem'd as one of those 
Who o'er Verona's champaign try their speed 
For the green mantle; and of them he seem'd, 
Not he who loses but who gains the prize. 


CANTO XVI 


ARGUMENT.-Journeying along the pier, which crosses the sand, they are now so 
near the end of it as to hear the noise of the stream falling mto the eighth circle, 
when they meet the spirits of three military men; who judging Dante, from his dress, 
to be a countryman of theirs, entreat him to stop. He complies and speaks with 
them. The two Poets then reach the place where the water descends, being the 
termination of this third compartment in the seventh circle; and here Virgil, having 
thrown down into the hollow a cord, wherewith Dante was girt, they behold at that 
signal a monstrous and horrible figure come swimmmg up to them. 


N OW came I where the water's din was heard 
As down it fell into the other round, 
Resounding like the hum of swarming bees: 
When forth together issued from a troop, 
That pass'd beneath the fierce tormenting storm, 
Three spirits, running swift. They toward us came, 
And each one cned aloud, "Oh! do thou stay, 
Whom, by the fashion of thy garb, we deem 
To be some inmate of our evil land." 
Ah me! what wounds I mark'd upon their limbs, 
Recent and old, inflicted by the flames. 
E'en the remembrance of them grieves me yet. 
Attentive to their cry, my teacher paused, 
And turned to me his visage, and then spake: 
"Wait now: our courtesy these merit well: 
And were't not for the nature of the place, 
Whence glide the fiery darts, I should have said, 
That haste had better suited thee than them." 
They, when we stopp'd, resumed their ancient wail, 
And, soon as they had reach'd us, all the three 
Whirl'd round together in one restless wheel. 
As naked champions, smear'd with slippery oil 
Are wont, intent, to watch their place of hold 
And vantage, ere in closer strife they meet; 



66 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVI 


Thus each one, as he wheeI'd, his countenance 
At me directed, so that opposite 
The neck moved ever to the twinkling feet. 
"If woe of this unsound and dreary waste," 
Thus one began, "added to our sad cheer 
Thus peel'd with flame, do call forth scorn on us 
And our entreaties, let our great renown 
Incline thee to inform us who thou art, 
That dost imprint, with living feet unharm'd, 
The soil of Hell. He, in whose track thou seest 
My steps pursuing, naked though he be 
And reft of all, was of more high estate 
Than thou believest; grandchild of the chaste 
Gualdrada, l him they Guidoguerra call'd, 
Who in his lifetime many a noble act 
Achieved, both by his wisdom and his sword. 
The other, next to me that beats the sand, 
Is Aldobrandi,2 name deserving well, 
In the upper world, of honor; and myself, 
Who in this torment do partake with them, 
Am Rusticucci,3 whom, past doubt, my wife, 
Of savage temper, more than aught beside 
Hath to this evil brought." If from the fire 
I had been shelter'd, down amidst them straight 
1 "Gualdrada. n Gualdrada was the Romagna, as her portion. Two sons were 
daughter of Bellincione Berti, of whom the offspring of this union, Guglielmo and 
mention is made in the Paradise, Cantos Ruggieri; the latter was father of Guido- 
xv and xvi. He was of the family of guerra, who, at the head of four hundred 
Ravignani, a branch of the Adimari. The Florentines of the Guelf party, was sig- 
Emperor Otho IV being at a festival in nally instrumental to the victory of 
Florence, where Gualdrada was present, Charles of Anjou at Benevento, over 
was struck with her beauty; and in- Manfredi, King of Naples, in 1265. One 
quiring who she was, was answered by consequence of this was the expulsion 
Bellincione, that she was the daughter of the Ghibellini and the re-establishment 
of one who, if it was his Majesty's pleas- of the Guelfi at Florence. 
ure, would make her admit the honor 2 Tegghiaio Aldobrandi endeavored to 
of his salute. On overhearing this, she dissuade the Florentines from the attack 
arose from her seat, and blushing, desired which they meditated against the Sien- 
her father that he would not be so lib- nese; the rejection of his counsel oc- 
eral in his offers. The Emperor was de- casioned the defeat which the former 
lighted by her resolute modesty, and call- sustained at Montaperto, and the con- 
ing to him Guido, one of his barons, sequent banishment of the Guelfi from 
gave her to him in marriage; at the same Florence. 
time raising him to the rank of a count, 3 Giacopo Rusticucci, a Florentine, re- 
and bestowing on her the whole of Casen- markable for his opulence and generosity 
tino, and a part of the territory of of spirit. 



CANTO XVI 


HELL 


67 


I then had cast me; nor my guide, I deem, 
Would have restrain'd my going: but that fear 
Of the dire burning vanquish'd the desire, 
Which made me eager of their wish'd embrace. 
I then began: "Not scorn, but grief much more, 
Such as long time alone can cure, your doom 
Fix'd deep within me, soon as this my lord 
Spake words, whose tenor taught me to expect 
That such a race, as ye are, was at hand. 
I am a countryman of yours, who still 
Affectionate have utter'd, and have heard 
Your deeds and names renown'd. Leaving the gall, 
For the sweet fruit I go, that a sure guide 
Hath promised to me. But behoves, that far 
As to the centre first I downward tend." 
"So may long space thy spirit guide thy limbs," 
He answer straight return'd; "and so thy fame 
Shine bright when thou art gone, as thou shalt tell, 
If courtesy and valor, as they wont, 
Dwell in our city, or have vanish'd clean: 
For one amidst us late condemn'd to wail, 
Borsiere, 4 yonder walking with his peers, 
Grieves us no little by the news he brings." 
"An upstart multitude and sudden gains, 
Pride and excess, 0 Florence! have in thee 
Engender'd, so that now in tears thou mourn'st!" 
Thus cried I, with my face upraised, and they 
All three, who for an answer took my words, 
Look'd at each other, as men look when truth 
Comes to their ear. "If at so little cost," 
They all at once rejoin'd, "thou satisfy 
Others who question thee, 0 happy thou! 
Gifted with words so apt to speak thy thought. 
Wherefore, if thou escape this darksome clime, 
Returning to behold the radiant stars, 
When thou with pleasure shalt retrace the past,5 
See that of us thou speak among mankind." 
C Guglielmo Borsiere, a Florentine, 5 "Quando ti giotlerà dicere io flli..- 
whom Boccaccio terms "a man of cour- So Tasso, "G. L." c. xv. st. 38: 
teous and elegant manners, and of great "Quando mi giotlerà narrar altrui 
readiness in conversation." Le nOtlità tledtlte, e dire; io Itti." 



68 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVI 


This said, they broke the circle, and so swift 
Fled, that as pinions seem'd their nimble feet. 
Not in so short a time might one have said 
"Amen," as they had vanish'd. Straight my guide 
Pursued his track. I follow'd: and small space 
Had we past onward, when the water's sound 
Was now so near at hand, that we had scarce 
Heard one another's speech for the loud din. 
E'en as the river,6 that first holds its course 
U nmingled from the Mount of Vesulo, 
On the left side of Apennine, toward 
The east, which Acquacheta higher up 
They call, ere it descend into the vale, 
At F orli, 7 by that name no longer known, 
Rebellows o'er Saint Benedict, roll'd on 
From the Alpine summit down a precipice, 
Where space 8 enough to lodge a thousand spreads; 
Thus downward from a craggy steep we found 
That this dark wave resounded, roaring loud, 
So that the ear its clamour soon had stunn'd. 
I had a cord 9 that braced my girdle round, 
Wherewith I erst had thought fast bound to take 
The painted leopard. This when I had all 
Unloosen'd from me (so my master bade) 
I gather'd up, and stretch'd it forth to him. 
Then to the right he turn'd, and from the brink 
Standing few paces distant, cast it down 
Into the deep abyss. "And somewhat strange," 
Thus to myself I spake, "signal so strange 
Betokens, which my guide with earnest eye 
Thus follows." Ah! what caution must men use 


6 He compares the fall of Phlegethon 
to that of the Montone (a river in 
Romagna) from the Apennines above the 
Abbey of St. Benedict. All the other 
streams that rise between the sources of 
the Po and the Montone, and fan from the 
left side of the Apennines, join the Po 
and accompany it to the sea. 
7 There it loses the name of Acquacheta, 
and takes that of Montone. 
8 Either because the abbey was capable 
of containing more than those who oc- 


cupied it, or because (says Landino) the 
lords of that territory had intended to 
build a castle near the water-fall, and to 
collect within its walls the population of 
the neighboring villages. 
9 "A cord. It It is believed that our 
poet in early life, had entered into the 
order of St. Francis. By observing the 
rules of that profession he had designed 
"to take the painted leopard" (that 
animal represented Pleasure) "with this 
cord. 1t 



CANTO XVII 


HELL 
With those who look not at the deed alone, 
But spy into the thoughts with subtie skill. 
"Quickly shall come," he said, "what I expect; 
Thine eye discover quickly that, whereof 
Thy thought is dreaming." Ever to that truth, 
Which but the semblance of a falsehood wears, 
A man, if possible, should bar his lip; 
Since, although blameless, he incurs reproach. 
But silence here were vain; and by these notes, 
Which now I sing, reader, I swear to thee, 
So may they favor find to latest times! 
That through the gross and murky air I spied 
A shape come swimming up, that might have quell'd 
The stvutest heart with wonder; in such guise 
As one returns, who hath been down to loose 
An anchor grappled fast against some rock, 
Or to aught else that in the salt wave lies, 
Who, upward springing, close draws in his feet. 


CANTO XVII 


69 


ARGUMENT.-The monster Geryon is described; to whom while Virgil is speaking 
in order that he may carry them both down to the next circle, Dante, by permission, 
goes further along the edge of the void, to descry the third species of sinners contained 
in this compartment, namely, those who have done violence to Art; and then re- 
turning to his master, they both descend, seated on the back of Geryon. 


" 1: ! the fell monster 1 with the deadly sting, 
Who passes mountains, breaks through fenced 
walls 
And firm embattled spears, and with his filth 
Taints all the world." Thus me my guide address'd, 
And beckon'd him, that he should come to shore, 
Near to the stony causeway's utmost edge. 
Forthwith that image vile of Fraud appear'd, 
His head and upper part exposed on land, 
But laid not on the shore his bestial train. 
His face the semblance of a just man's wore, 
So kind and gracious was its outward cheer; 
The rest was serpent all: two shaggy claws 
1 "The fell monster." Fraud. 



7 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVII 


Reach'd to the arm-pits; and the back and breast, 
And either side, were painted o'er with nodes 
And orbits. Colours variegated more 
Nor Turks nor Tartars e'er on cloth of slate 
With interchangeable embroidery wove, 
Nor spread Arachne o'er her curious loom. 
As oft-times a light skiff, moor'd to the shore, 
Stands part in water, part upon the land; 
Or, as where dwells the greedy German boor, 
The beaver settles, watching for his prey; 
So on the rim, that fenced the sand with rock, 
Sat perch'd the fiend of evil. In the void 
Glancing, his tail upturn'd its venomous fork, 
With sting like scorpion's arm'd. Then thus my guide, 
"Now need our way must turn few steps apart, 
Far as to that ill beast, who couches there." 
Thereat, toward the right our downward course 
We shaped, and, better to escape the flame 
And burning marle, ten paces on the verge 
Proceeded. Soon as we to him arrive, 
A little farther on mine eye beholds 
A tribe of spirits, seated on the sand 
Near to the void. Forthwith my master spake: 
"That to the full thy knowledge may extend 
Of all this round contains, go now, and mark 
The mien these wear: but hold not long discourse. 
Till thou returnest, I with him meantime 
Will parley, that to us he may vouchsafe 
The aid of his strong shoulders." Thus alone, 
Yet forward on the extremity I paced 
Of that seventh circle, where the mournful tribe 
Were seated. At the eyes forth gush'd their pangs, 
Against the vapors and the torrid soil 
Alternately their shifting hands they plied. 
Thus use the dogs in summer still to ply 
Their jaws and feet by turns, when bitten sore 
By gnats, or flies, or gadflies swarming round. 
Noting the visages of some, who lay 
Beneath the pelting of that dolorous fire, 
One of them all I knew not; but perceived, 



CANTO XVII 


HELL 


7 1 


That pendent from his neck each bore a pouch 2 
With colours and with emblems various mark'd, 
On which it seem'd as if their eye did feed. 
And when, amongst them, looking round I came, 
A yello\-v purse 3 I saw with azure wrought, 
That wore a lion's countenance and port. 
Then, still my sight pursuing its career, 
Another 4 I beheld, than blood more red, 
A goose display of whiter wing than curd. 
And one, who bore a fat and azure swine 5 
Pictured on his white scrip, address'd me thus: 
"What dost thou in this deep? Go now and know, 
Since yet thou livest, that my neighbor here 
Vitalian0 6 on my left shall sit. 
A Paduan with these Florentines am I. 
Oft-times they thunder in mine ears, exclaiming, 
'Oh t haste that noble knight, 7 he \vho the pouch 
With the three goats will bring.'" This said, he writhed 
The mouth, and loll'd the tongue out, like an ox 
That licks his nostrils. I, lest longer stay 
He ill might brook, who bade me stay not long, 
Backward my steps from those sad spirits turn'd. 
11y guide already seated on the haunch 
Of the fierce animal I found; and thus 
He me encouraged. "Be thou stout: be bold. 
Down such a steep flight must we now descend. 
NIount thou before: for, that no power the tail 
May have to harm thee, I will be i' th' midst." 
As one, who hath an ague fit so near, 
His nails already are turn'd blue, and he 
Quivers all o'er, if he but eye the shade; 
Such was my cheer at hearing of his words. 
But shame soon interposed her threat, who makes 
The servant bold in presence of his lord. 
2 A purse, whereon the armorial bear- Gianfigliazzi of Florence. 
ings of each were emblazoned. According 4: The arms of the Ubbriachi, another 
to Landino, our Poet implies that the Florentine family of high distinction. 
usurer can pretend to no other honor than .5 The arms of the Scrovigni, a noble 
such as he derives from his purse and family of Padua. 
his family. The description of persons 6 Vitaliano del Dente, a Paduano 
by their heraldic insignia is remarkable. 7 Giovanni Bujamonti, the most in- 
3 "A yellow purse." The arms of the famous usurer of his time. 



7 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVII 


I settled me upon those shoulders huge, 
And would have said, but that the words to aid 
My purpose came not, "Look thou clasp me firm." 
But he whose succour then not first I proved, 
Soon as I mounted, in his arms aloft, 
Embracing, held me up; and thus he spake: 
"Geryon! now move thee: be thy wheeling gyres 
Of ample circuit, easy thy descent. 
Think on the unusual burden thou sustain'st." 
As a small vessel, backening out from land, 
Her station quits; so thence the monster loosed, 
And, when he felt himself at large, turn'd round 
There, where the breast had been, his forked tail. 
Thus, like an eel, outstretch'd at length he steer'd, 
Gathering the air up with retractile claws. 
Not greater was the dread, when Phaëton 
The reins let drop at random, whence high heaven, 
Whereof signs yet appear, was wrapt in flames; 
Nor when ill-fated Icarus perceived, 
By liquefaction of the scalded wax, 
The trusted pennons loosen'd from his loins, 
His sire exclaiming loud, "Ill way thou keep'st," 
Than was my dread, when round me on each part 
The air I view'd, and other object none 
Save the fell beast. He, slowly sailing, wheels 
His downward motion, unobserved of me, 
But that the wind, arising to my face, 
Breathes on me from below . Now on our right 
I heard the cataract beneath us leap 
With hideous crash; whence bending down to explore, 
New terror I conceived at the steep plunge; 
For flames I saw, and wailings smote mine ear: 
So that, all trembling, close I crouch'd my limbs, 
And then distinguish'd, unperceived before, 
By the dread torments that on every side 
Drew nearer, how our downward course we wound. 
As falcon, that hath long been on the wing, 
But lure nor bird hath seen, while in despair 
The falconer cries, "Ah me! thou stoop'st to earth," 
Wearied descends, whence nimbly he arose 



CANTO XVIII 


HELL 


73 


In many an airy wheel, and lighting sits 
At distance from his lord in angry mood; 
So Geryon lighting places us on foot 
Low down at base of the deep-furrow'd rock, 
And, of his burden there discharged, forthwith 
Sprang forward, like an arrow from the string. 


CANTO XVIII 


ARGUMENT.-The Poet describes the situation and form of the eighth circle, divided 
into ten gulfs, which contain as many different descriptions of fraudulent sinners; 
but in the present Canto he treats only of two sorts: the first is of those who, either 
for their own pleasure, or for that of another, have seduced any woman from her duty; 
and these are scourged of demons in the first gulf: the other sort is of flatterers, 
who in the second gulf are condemned to remain immersed in filth. 
T HERE is a place within the depths of Hell 
Call'd Malebolge, all of rock dark-stain'd 
With hue ferruginous, e'en as the steep 
That round it circling winds. Right in the midst 
Of that abominable region yawns 
A spacious gulf profound, whereof the frame 
Due time shall tell. The circle, that remains, 
Throughout its round, between the gulf and base 
Of the high craggy banks, successive forms 
Ten bastions, in its hollow bottom raised. 
As where, to guard the walls, full many a foss 
Begirds some stately castle, sure defence 
Affording to the space within; so here 
Were model' d these: and as like fortresses, 
E' en from their threshold to the brink without, 
Are flank'd with bridges; from the rock's low base 
Thus flinty paths advanced, that 'cross the moles 
And dykes struck onward far as to the gulf, 
That in one bound collected cuts them off. 
Such was the place, wherein we found ourselves 
From Geryon's back dislodged. The bard to left 
Held on his way, and I behind him moved. 
On our right hand new tnisery I saw, 
New pains, new executioners of wrath, 
That swarming peopled the first chasm. Below 
Were naked sinners. Hitherward they came, 



74 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVIII 


Meeting our faces, from the middle point; 
With us beyond, but with a larger stride. 
E' en thus the Romans, l when the year returns 
Of Jubilee, with better speed to rid 
The thronging multitudes, their means devise 
For such as pass the bridge; that on one side 
All front toward the castle, and approach 
Saint Peter's fane, on the other to\vard the mount. 
Each diverse way, along the grisly rock, 
Horn'd demons I beheld, with lashes huge, 
That on their back unmercifully smote. 
Ah! how they made them bound at the first stripe! 
None for the second waited, nor the third. 
Meantime, as on I pass'd, one met my sight, 
Whom soon as view'd, "Of him," cried I, "not yet 
Mine eye hath had his fill." I therefore stay'd 
My feet to scan him, and the teacher kind 
Paused with me, and consented I should walk 
Backward a space; and the tormented spirit, 
Who thought to hide him, bent his visage do\vn. 
But it avail'd him naught; for I exclaim'd: 
"Thou who dost cast thine eye upon the ground, 
Unless thy features do belie thee much, 
Venedic0 2 art thou. But what brings thee 
Into this bitter seasoning?" He replied: 
"Unwillingly I answer to thy words. 
But thy clear speech, that to my mind recalls 
The world I once inhabited, constrains me. 
Know then 't was I who led fair Ghisola 
To do the Marquis' will, however fame 
The shameful tale have bruited. Nor alone 
Bologna hither sendeth me to mourn. 
Rather with us the place is so o'erthrong'd, 
That not so many tongues this day are taught, 


1 In the year 1300, Pope Boniface VIII, 
to remedy the inconvenience occasioned 
by the press over the bridge of St. Angelo 
during the time of the Jubilee, caused it 
to be divided lengthwise by a partition. 
G. Villani, who was present, describes the 
order that was preserved, lib. viii. c. xxxvi. 


I t was at this time, and on this occasion, 
that he first conceived the design of "com- 
piling his book." 
2 V enedico Caccianimico, a Bolognesc 7 
who prevailed on his sister Ghisola to 
prostitute herself to Obizzo da Este. (See 
Canto xii.) 



CANTO XVIII 


HELL 


7S 


Betwixt the Reno and Savena's stream, 
To answer Sipa 3 in their country's phrase. 
And if of that securer proof thou need, 
Remember but our craving thirst for gold." 
Him speaking thus, a demon with his throng 
Struck and exclaim'd, "Away, corrupter! here 
Women are none for sale." Forthwith I join'd 
My escort, and few paces thence we came 
To where a rock forth issued from the bank. 
That easily ascended, to the right 
V pon its splinter turning, we depart 
From those eternal barriers. When arrived 
Where, underneath, the gaping arch lets pass 
The scourged souls: "Pause here," the teacher said, 
"And let these others miserable now 
Strike on thy ken; faces not yet beheld, 
For that together they with us have walk'd." 
From the old bridge we eyed the pack, who came 
From the other side toward us, like the rest, 
Excoriate from the lash. My gentle guide, 
By me unquestion'd, thus his speech resumed: 
"Behold that lofty shade, who this way tends, 
And seems too woe-begone to drop a tear. 
How yet the regal aspect he retains! 
Jason is he, whose skill and prowess won 
The ram from Colchis. To the Lemnian isle 
His passage thither led him, when those bold 
And pitiless women had slain all their males. 
There he with tokens and fair witching words 
Hypsipyle 4 beguiled, a virgin young, 
Who first had all the rest herself beguiled. 
Impregnated, he left her there forlorn. 
Such is the guilt condemns him to this pain. 
Here too Medea's injuries are avenged. 
All bear him company, who like deceit 
To his have practised. And thus much to know 


3 "To answer Sipa." He denotes 
Bologna by its situation between the rivers 
Savena to the east and Reno to the west, 
and by a peculiarity of dialect, the use 


of the affirmative "sipa" instead either of 
"si" or of "sia." 
4 She deceived the other women, by 
concealing her father Thoas, when they 
slew their males. 



7 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVIII 


Of the first vale suffice thee, and of those 
Whom its keen torments urge." Now had we come 
Where, crossing the next pier, the straiten'd path 
Bestrides its shoulders to another arch. 
Hence, in the second chasm we heard the ghosts, 
Who gibber in low melancholy sounds, 
With wide-stretch'd nostrils snort, and on themselves 
Smite with their palms. Upon the banks a scurf, 
From the foul steam condensed, encrusting hung, 
That held sharp combat with the sight and smell. 
So hollow is the depth, that from no part, 
Save on the summit of the rocky span, 
Could I distinguish aught. Thus far we came; 
And thence I saw, within the foss below, 
A crowd immersed in ordure, that appear'd 
Draf! of the human body. There beneath 
Searching with eye inquisitive, I mark'd 
One with his head so grimed, 't were hard to deem 
If he were clerk or layman. Loud he cried: 
"Why greedily thus bendest more on me, 
Than on these other filthy ones, thy ken?" 
"Because, if true my memory," I replied, 
"I heretofore have seen thee with dry locks; 
And thou Alessi0 5 art, of Lucca sprung. 
Therefore than all the rest I scan thee more." 
Then beating on his brain, these words he spake: 
"Me thus low down my flatteries have sunk, 
Wherewith I ne'er enough could glut my tongue." 
My leader thus: "A little further stretch 
Thy face, that thou the visage well mayst note 
Of that besotted, sluttish courtesan, 
Who there doth rend her with defiled nails, 
Now crouching down, now risen on her feet. 
Thais 6 is this, the harlot, whose false lip 
Answer'd her doting paramour that ask'd, 
'Thankest me much!'-'Say rather, wondrously,' 
And, seeing this, here satiate be our view." 



 Of the old Interminei family. 
6 "Thais." In the Eunuchus of Terence, 
Thraso asks if ThaÏs was obliged to him 


for his present; and Gnatho replies, that 
she had expressed her obligation in the 
most forcible terms. 



CANTO XIX 


HELL 


77 


CANTO XIX 


ARGUMENT.-They come to the third gulf, wherein are punished those who have 
been guilty of simony. These are fixed with the head downward in certam apertures, 
so that no more of them than the legs appears without, and on the soles of their feet 
are seen burning flames. Dante is taken down by his guide into the bottom of the 
gulf; and there finds Pope Nicholas V, whose evil deeds, together with those of other 
pontiffs, are bitterly reprehended. Virgil then carries him up again to the arch, which 
affords them a passage over the following gulf. 


W OE to thee, Simon Magus! woe to you, 
His wretched followers! who the things of God, 
Which should be wedded unto goodness, them, 
Rapacious as ye are, do prostitute 
For gold and silver in adultery. 
Now must the trumpet sound for you, since yours 
Is the third chasm. Upon the following vault 
We now had mounted, where the rock impends 
Directly o'er the centre of the foss. 
Wisdom Supreme! how wonderful the art, 
Which Thou dost manifest in Heaven, in earth, 
And in the evil world, how just a meed 
Allotting by Thy virtue unto all. 
I saw the livid stone, throughout the sides 
And in its bottom full of apertures, 
All equal in their width, and circular each. 
Nor ample less nor larger they appear'd 
Than, in Saint John's fair dome 1 of me beloved, 
Those framed to hold the pure baptismal streams, 
One of the which I brake, some few years past, 
To save a whelming infant: and be this 
A seal to undeceive whoever doubts 
The motive of my deed. From out the mouth 
Of everyone emerged a sinner's feet, 
And of the legs high upward as the calf. 
The rest beneath was hid. On either foot 
The soles were burning; whence the flexile joints 
Glanced with such violent motion, as had snapr 


1 The apertures in the rock were of the 
same dimensions as the fonts of St. John 
the Baptist at Florence, one of which 
Dante had broken to rescue a child that 


was playing near and fell in. He inti. 
mates that his motive for breaking the 
font had been maliciously represented by 
his enemies. 



7 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIX 


Asunder cords or twisted withes. As flame, 
Feeding on unctuous matter, glides along 
The surface, scarcely touching where it moves; 
So here, from heel to point, glided the flames. 
"Master! say who is he, than all the rest 
Glancing in fiercer agony, on whom 
A ruddier flame doth prey?" I thus inquired. 
"If thou be willing," he replied, "that I 
Carry thee down, where least the slope bank falls, 
He of himself shall tell thee, and his wrongs." 
I then: "As pleases thee, to me is best. 
Thou art my lord; and know'st that ne'er I quit 
Thy will: what silence hides, that knowest thou." 
Thereat on the fourth pier we came, we turn'd 
And on our left descended to the depth, 
A narrow strait, and perforated close. 
Nor from his side my leader set me down, 
Till to his orifice he brought, whose limb 
Quivering express'd his pang. "Whoe'er thou art, 
Sad spirit! thus reversed, and as a stake 
Driven in the soil,"-I in these words began; 
"If thou be able, utter forth thy voice." 
There stood I like the friar, that doth shrive 
A wretch for murder doom'd, who, e'en when fix'd, 
Calleth him back, whence death awhile delays. 
He shouted: "Ha! already standest there? 
Already standest there, 0 Boniface!2 
By many a year the writing play'd me false. 
So early dost thou surfeit with the wealth, 
For which thou fearedst not in guile to take 
The lovely lady, and then mangle her?" 
I felt as those who, piercing not the drift 
Of answer made them, stand as if exposed 
In mockery, nor know what to reply; 
When Virgil thus admonish'd: "Tell him quick, 
'I am not he, not he whom thou believest.' " 
And I, as was enjoin'd me, straight replied. 


2 The spirit mistakes Dante for Boni- 
face VIII (who was then alive, and not 
expected to arrive so soon, a prophecy 


predicting the death of that pope at a 
later period. Boniface died in 1303. 



CANTO XIX 


HELL 


79 


That heard, the spirit all did wrench his feet, 
And, sighing, next in woeful accent spake: 
"What then of me requirest? If to know 
So much imports thee, who I am, that thou 
Hast therefore down the bank descended, learn 
That in the mighty mantle I was robed, 3 
And of a she-bear was indeed the son, 
So eager to advance my whelps, that there 
My having in my purse above I stow'd, 
And here myself. Under my head are dragg'd 
The rest, my predecessors in the guilt 
Of simony. Stretch'd at their length, they lie 
Along an opening in the rock. 'Midst them 
I also low shall fall, soon as he comes, 
For whom I took thee, when so hastily 
I question'd. But already longer time 
Hath past, since my soles kindled, and I thus 
Upturn'd have stood, than is his doom to stand 
Planted with fiery feet. For after him, 
One yet of deeds more ugly shall arrive,...... 
From forth the west, a shepherd without law,4 
Fated to cover both his form and mine. 
He a new Jason 5 shall be call'd, of whom 
In Maccabees we read; and favor such 
As to that priest his King indulgent show'd, 
Shall be of France's monarch 6 shown to him." 
I know not if I here too far presumed, 
But in this strain I answer'd : "Tell me now 
What treasures from Saint Peter at the first 
Our Lord demanded, when he put the keys 
Into his charge? Surely he ask'd no more 
But 'Follow me!' Nor Peter,7 nor the rest, 


3 Nicholas III of the Orsini family, 
whom the Poet therefore calls "figliuol 
del1' orsa," "son of the she-bear." He 
died in 1281. 
4 Bertrand de Got, Archbishop of Bor- 
deaux, who succeeded to the pontificate 
in 1305, as Clement V. He transferred the 
Holy See to Avignon in 1308 (where it 
remained till 1376), and died in 1314. 
:> "But after the death of Seleucus, 


when Antiochus, called Epiphanes, took 
the kingdom, Jason, the brother of Onias, 
labored to be high -priest, promising unto 
the king, by intercession, three hundred 
and threescore talents of silver, and of 
another revenue eighty talents."-Maccab. 
b. ii. ch. iv, 7, 8. 
6 Philip IV. See G. Villani, lib. viii. c. 
lxxx. 
7 Acts of the Apostles, ch. i. 26. 



80 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
Or gold or silver of Matthias took, 
When lots were cast upon the forfeit place 
Of the condemned soul. 8 Abide thou then; 
Thy punishment of right is merited: 
And look thou well to that ill-gotten coin, 
Which against Charles 9 thy hardihood inspired. 
If reverence of the keys restrain'd me not, 
Which thou in happier time didst hold, I yet 
Severer speech might use. Your avarice 
0' ercasts the world with mourning, under foot 
Treading the good, and raising bad men up. 
Of shepherds like to you, the Evangelist 
Was ware, when her, who sits upon the waves, 
With kings in filthy whoredom he beheld; 
She who with seven heads tower'd at her birth, 
And from ten horns her proof of glory drew, 
Long as her spouse in virtue took delight. 
Of gold and silver ye have made your god, 
Differing wherein from the idolater, 
But that he worships one, a hundred ye? 
Ah, Constantinel lO to how much ill gave birth, 
Not thy conversion, but that plenteous dower, 
Which the first wealthy Father gain'd from thee." 
Meanwhile, as thus I sung, he, whether wrath 
Or conscience smote him, violent upsprang 
Spinning on either sole. I do believe 
My teacher well was pleased, with so composed 
A lip he listen'd ever to the sound 
Of the true words I utter'd. In both arms 
He caught, and, to his bosom lifting me, 
Upward retraced the way of his descent. 
Nor weary of his weight, he press'd me close, 
Till to the summit of the rock we came, 
Our passage from the fourth to the fifth pier. 
His cherish'd burden there gently he placed 


CANTO XIX 


8 "The condemned soul. tt Judas. 
9 Nicholas III was enraged aßainst 
Charles I, King of Sicily, because he re- 
j
cted with scorn his proposition for an 
alliance between their families. See G. 
Villani, Hist., lib. iii. 


10 He alludes to the pretended gift of 
the Lateran by Constantine to Sylvester, 
of which Dante himself seems to imply 
a doubt, in his treatise "De Monarçhiâ. tt 



CANTO XX 


HELL 
Upon the rugged rock and steep, a path 
Not easy for the clambering goat to mount. 
Thence to my view another vale appear'd. 


81 


CANTO XX 


ARGUMENT.-The Poet relates the punishment of such as presumed, while living, 
to predict future events. It is to have their faces reversed and set the contrary 
way on their limbs, so that, being deprived of the power to see before them, they are 
constrained ever to walk backward. Among these Virgil points out to him Am- 
phiaraüs, Tiresias, Aruns, and Manto (from the mention of whom he takes occasion 
to speak of the origin of Mantua), together with several others, who had practised 
the arts of divination and astrology. 


X D now the verse proceeds to torments new, 
Fit argument of this the twentieth strain 
Of the first song, whose awful theme records 
The spirits whelm'd in woe. Earnest I look'd 
Into the depth, that open'd to my view, 
Moisten'd with tears of anguish, and beheld 
A tribe, that came along the hollow vale, 
In silence weeping: such their step as walk 
Quires, chanting solemn litanies, on earth. 
As on them more direct mine eye descends, 
Each wonderously seem'd to be reversed 
At the neck-bone, so that the countenance 
Was from the reins averted; and because 
None might before him look, they were compell'd 
To advance with backward gait. Thus one perhaps 
Hath been by force of palsy clean transposed, 
But I ne'er saw it nor believe it so. 
Now, reader! think within thyself, so God 
Fruit of thy reading give thee! how I long 
Could keep my visage dry, when I beheld 
Near me our form distorted in such guise, 
That on the hinder parts fallen from the face 
The tears down-streaming roll'd. Against a rock 
I leant and wept, so that my guide exclaim'd: 
"What, and art thou, too, witless as the rest? 
Here pity most doth show herself alive, 
When she is dead. What guilt exceedeth his, 
Who with Heaven's judgment in his passion strives? 



82 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XX 


Raise up thy head, raise up, and see the man 
Before whose eyes 1 earth gaped in Thebes, when all 
Cried out 'Amphiaraüs, whither rushest? 
Why leavest thou the war?' He not the less 
Fell ruining far as to Minos down, 
Whose grapple none eludes. Lo! how he makes 
The breast his shoulders; and who once too far 
Before him wish'd to see, now backward looks, 
And treads reverse his path. Tiresias note, 
Who semblance changed, when woman he became 
Of male, through every limb transform'd; and then 
Once more behoved him with his rod to strike 
The two entwining serpents, ere the plumes, 
That mark'd the better sex, might shoot again. 
"Aruns,2 with rere his belly facing, comes. 
On Luni's mountains 'midst the marbles white, 
Where delves Carrara's hind, who wons beneath, 
A cavern was his dwelling, whence the stars 
And main-sea wide in boundless view he held. 
"The next, whose loosen'd tresses overspread 
Her bosom, which thou seest not (for each hair 
On that side grows) was Manto, she who search'd 
Through many regions, and at length her seat 
Fix'd in my native land: whence a short space 
My words detain thy audience. When her sire 
From life departed, and in servitude 
The city dedicate to Bacchus mourn'd, 
Long time she went a wanderer through the world. 
Aloft in Italy's delightful land 
A lake there lies, at foot of that proud Alp 
That o'er the Tyrol locks Germania in, 
Its name Benacus, from whose ample breast 
A thousand springs, methinks, and more, between 
Camonica and Garda, issuing forth, 
Water the Apennine. There is a spot 3 


1 Am phiaraiis, one of the seven kings 
who besieged Thebes. He is said to have 
been swallowed up by an opening of the 
earth. 
2 Said to have dwelt in the mountams 
of Luni (whence that territory is still 


called Lunigiana), above Carrara, cele- 
brated for its marble. 
3 "There is a spot." Prato di Fame, 
where the dioceses of Trento, Veron.l,. 
and Brescia meet. 



CANTO XX 


HELL 


83 


At midway of that lake, where he who bears 
Of Trento's flock the pastoral staff, with him 
Of Brescia, and the Veronese, might each 
Passing that way his benediction give. 
A garrison of goodly site and strong 
Peschiera" stands, to awe with front opposed 
The Bergamese and Brescian, whence the shore 
More slope each way descends. There, whatsoe'er 
Benacus' bosom holds not, tumbling o'er 
Down falls, and winds a river flood beneath 
Through the green pastures. Soon as in his course 
The stream makes head, Benacus then no more 
They call the name, but Mincius, till at last 
Reaching Governo, into Po he falls. 
Not far his course hath run, when a wide Bat 
It finds, which overstretching as a marsh 
I t covers, pestilent in summer oft. 
Hence journeying, the savage maiden saw 
Midst of the fen a territory waste 
And naked of inhabitants. To shun 
All human converse, here she with her slaves, 
Plying her arts, remain'd, and liv'd, and left 
Her body tenantless. Thenceforth the tribes, 
Who round were scatter'd, gathering to that place, 
Assembled; for its strength was great, enclosed 
On all parts by the fen. On those dead bones 
They rear'd themselves a city, for her sake 
Calling it Mantua, who first chose the spot, 
Nor ask'd another omen for the name; 
Wherein more numerous the people dwelt, 
Ere Casalodi's madness 5 by deceit 
Was wronged of Pinamonte. If thou hear 
Henceforth another origin assign'd 
Of that my country, I forewarn thee now, 
That falsehood none beguile thee of the truth." 


4 uPeschiera." A garrison situated to 
the south of the lake, where it empties 
and forms the Mincius. 
5 Alberto da Casalodi, in possession of 
Mantua, was persuaded by Pinamonte 
Buonacossi to ingratiate himself with the 


people by banishing to their own castles 
the nobles, who were obnoxious to them. 
Pinamonte then put himself at the head 
of the populace, drove out Casalodi and 
his adherents, and obtained the sov- 
ereignty for himself. 



84 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XX 


I answer'd, "Teacher, I conclude thy words 
So certain, that all else shall be to me 
As embers lacking life. But now of these, 
Who here proceed, instruct me, if thou see 
Any that merit more especial note. 
For thereon is my mind alone intent." 
He straight replied: "That spirit, from whose cheek 
The beard sweeps o'er his shoulders brown, what time 
Græcia was emptied of her males, that scarce 
The cradles were supplied, the seer was he 
In Aulis, who with Calchas gave the sign 
When first to cut the cable. Him they named 
Eurypilus: so sings my tragic strain, 
In which majestic measure well thou know'st, 
Who know'st it all. That other, round the loins 
So slender of his shape, was Michael Scot,6 
Practised in every slight of magic wile. 
"Guido Bonatti 7 see: Asdente mark,s 
Who now were willing he had tended still 
The thread and cordwain, and too late repents. 
"See next the \vretches, who the needle left, 
The shuttle and the spindle, and became 
Diviners: baneful witcheries they wrought 
With images and herbs. But onward now: 
For now doth Cain with fork of thorns 9 confine 
On either hemisphere, touching the wave 
Beneath the towers of Seville. Yesternight 
The moon was round. Thou mayst remember well: 
For she good service did thee in the gloom 
Of the deep wood." This said, both onward moved. 


6 eel t is not long since there was in this 
City (Florence) a great master in necro- 
mancy, called Michele Scotto, because he 
was from Scotland." Boccaccio, De- 
cameron G. viii. N. 9. 
7 An astrologer of Forli, on whose skill 
Guido da Montefeltro, lord of that place, 
so relied, that he is reported never to 
have gone into battle, except in the hour 
recommended to him by Bonatti. Lan- 
dino and Vellutello speak of his book on 
astrology. MacchiavelIi mentions him in 
the History of Florence, 1. i. p. 24. ed. 


1550. "He flourished about 1230 and 
1260. Though a learned astronomer he 
was seduced by astrology, through which 
he was greatly in favor with many 
princes. " 
8 A shoemaker at Parma, who deserted 
his business to practice the arts of divi. 
nation. 
9 By Cain and the thorns ("The Man 
in the Moon") the Poet denotes that 
luminary. The same superstition is ale 
luded to in the Paradise, Canto ii. 52. 



CANTO XXI 


HELL 


85 


CANTO XXI 


ARGUMENT.-Still in the eighth circle, which bears the name of Malebolge, they 
look down from the bridge that passes over its fifth gulf, upon the barterers or public 
peculators. These are plunged in a lake of boiling pitch, and guarded by Demons, 
to whom Virgil, leaving Dante apart, presents himself; and license being obtained to 
pass onward, both pursue their way. 


T HUS we from bridge to bridge, with other talk, 
The which my drama cares not to rehearse, 
Pass'd on; and to the summit reaching, stood 
To view another gap, within the round 
Of Malebolge, other bootless pangs. 
Marvellous darkness shadow' d o'er the place. 
In the Venetians' arsenal as boils 
Through wintry months tenacious pitch, to smear 
Their unsound vessels; for the inclement time 
Seafaring men restrains, and in that while 
His bark one builds anew, another stops 
The ribs of his that hath made many a voyage, 
One hammers at the prow, one at the poop, 
This shapeth oars, that other cables twirls, 
The mizzen one repairs, and main-sail rent; 
So, not by force of fire but art divine, 
Boil'd here a glutinous thick mass, that round 
Limed all the shore beneath. I that beheld, 
But therein naught distinguish'd, save the bubbles 
Raised by the boiling, and one mighty swell 
Heave, and by turns subsiding fall. While there 
I fix'd my ken below, "Mark! markl" my guide 
Exclaiming, drew me toward him from the place 
Wherein I stood. I turn'd myself, as one 
Impatient to behold that which beheld 
He needs must shun, whom sudden fear unmans, 
That he his Bight delays not for the view. 
Behind me I discern'd a devil black, 
That running up advanced along the rock. 
Ah! what fierce cruelty his look bespake. 
In act how bitter did he seem, with wings 
Buoyant outstretch'd and feet of nimblest tread. 
His shoulder, proudly eminent and sharp, 



86 


THE 'DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXI 


Was with a sinner charged; by either haunch 
He held him, the foot's sinew griping fast. 
"Ye of our bridge!" he cried, "keen-talon'd fiends! 
Lor one of Santa Zita's elders. Him 
Whelm ye beneath, while I return for more. 
That land hath store of such. All men are there, 
Except Bonturo, barterers: of 'no' 
For lucre there an 'ay' is quickly made." 
Him dashing down, o'er the rough rock he turn'd; 
Nor ever after thief a mastiff loosed 
Sped with like eager haste. That other sank, 
And forthwith writhing to the surface rose. 
But those dark demons, shrouded by the bridge, 
Cried, "Here the hallow'd visage saves not: here 
Is other swimming than in Serchio's wave, 
Wherefore, if thou desire we rend thee not, 
Take heed thou mount not o'er the pitch." This said, 
They grappled him with more than hundred hooks, 
And shouted: "Cover'd thou must sport thee here; 
So, if thou canst, in secret mayst thou filch." 
E'en thus the cook bestirs him, with his grooms, 
To thrust the flesh into the caldron down 
With flesh-hooks, that it float not on the top. 
Me then my guide bespake: "Lest they descry 
That thou art here, behind a craggy rock 
Bend low and screen thee: and whate' er of force 
Be offer'd me, or insult, fear thou not; 
For I am well advised, who have been erst 
In the like fray." Beyond the bridge's head 
Therewith he pass'd; and reaching the sixth pier, 
B
hoved him then a forehead terror-proof. 
With storm and fury, as when dogs rush forth 
Upon the poor man's back, who suddenly 
From whence he standeth makes his suit; so rush'd 
Those from beneath the arch, and against him 
Their weapons all they pointed. He, aloud: 
"Be none of you outrageous: ere your tine 
Dare seize me, come forth from amongst you one, 
Who having heard my words, decide he then 



CANTO XXI 


87 


HELL 
If he shall tear these limbs." They shouted loud, 
"Go, Malacoda!" Whereat one advanced, 
The others standing firm, and as he came, 
"What may this turn avail him?" he exclaim'd. 
"Believest thou, Malacoda! I had come 
Thus far from all your skirmishing secure," 
My teacher answer'd, "without will divine 
And destiny propitious? Pass we then; 
For so Heaven's pleasure is, that I should lead 
Another through this savage wilderness." 
Forthwith so fell his pride, that he let drop 
The instrument of torture at his feet, 
And to the rest exclaim'd: "We have no power 
To strike him." Then to me my guide: "0 thou! 
Who on the bridge among the crags dost sit 
Low crouching, safely now to me return." 
I rose, and toward him moved with speed; the fiends 
Meantime all forward drew: me terror seized, 
Lest they should break the compact they had made. 
Thus issuing from Caprona,t once I sa\v 
Th' infantry, dreading lest his covenant 
The foe should break; so close he hemm'd them round. 
I to my leader's side adhered, mine eyes 
With fixt and motionless observance bent 
On their unkindly visage. They their hooks 
Protruding, one the other thus bespake: 
"Wilt thou I touch him on the hip?" To whom 
Was answer'd: "Even so; nor miss thy aim." 
But he, who was in conference with my guide, 
Turn'd rapid round; and thus the demon spake: 
"Stay, stay thee, Scarmiglione!" Then to us 
He added: "Further footing to your step 
This rock affords not, shiver' d to the base 
Of the sixth arch. But would ye still proceed, 
Up by this cavern go: not distant far, 
Another rock will yield you passage safe. 
1 "From Caprona." The surrender of in safety, to which event Dante was a 
the castle of Caprona to the combined witness, took place in 1290. See G. 
forces of Florence and Lucca, on condi- Villani, Hist. lib. vii. c. cxxxvi. 
tion that the garrison should march out 



88 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXJ 


Yesterday/ later by five hours than now, 
Twelve hundred threescore years and six had fill'd 
The circuit of their course, since here the way 
Was broken. Thitherward I straight despatch 
Certain of these my scouts, who shall espy 
If any on the surface bask. With them 
Go ye: for ye shall find them nothing fell. 
Come, Alichino, forth," with that he cried, 
"And Calcabrina, and Cagnazzo thou! 
The troop of ten let Barbariccia lead. 
With Libicocco, Draghinazzo haste, 
Fang'd Ciriatta, Graffiacane fierce, 
And Farfarello, and mad Rubicant. 
Search ye around the bubbling tar. For these, 
In safety lead theIn, where the other crag 
Uninterrupted traverses the dens." 
I then: "0 master! what a sight is there. 
Ah! without escort, journey we alone, 
Which, if thou know the way, I covet not. 
Unless thy prudence fail thee, dost not mark 
How they do gnarl upon us, and their scowl 
Threatens us present tortures?" He replied: 
"I charge thee, fear not: let them, as they will, 
Gnarl on: 'tis but in token of their spite 
Against the souls who mourn in torment steep'd." 
To leftward o'er the pier they turn'd; but each 
Had first between his teeth prest close the tongue, 
Toward their leader for a signal looking, 
Which he with sound obscene triumphant gave. 
2 "Yesterday." This passage fixes the I. The awful event alluded to, the Evan- 
era of Dante's descent at Good Friday, gelists inform us, happened "at the ninth 
in the year 1300 (thirty-four years from hour," that is, our sixth, when "the rocks 
our blessed Lord's incarnation being were rent," and the convulsion, according 
added to 1266), and at the thirty-fifth to Dante, was felt even in the depths of 
year of our Poet's age. See Canto i. v. Hell. See Canto xii. v. 38. 



CANTO XXII 


HELL 


89 


CANTO XXII 


ARGUMEsT.-Virgil and Dante proceed, accompanied by the Demons, and see 
other sinners of the same description in the same gulf. The device of Ciampolo, one 
of these, to escape from the Demons, who had laid hold on him. 


I T hath been heretofore my chance to see 
Horsemen with martial order shifting camp, 
To onset sallying, or in muster ranged, 
Or in retreat sometimes outstretch'd for flight: 
Light-armed squadrons and fleet foragers 
Scouring thy plains, Arezzo! have I seen, 
And clashing tournaments, and tilting jousts, 
Now with the sound of trumpets, now of bells, 
Tabors,1 or signals made from castled heights, 
And with inventions multiform, our own, 
Or introduced from foreign land; but ne'er 
To such a strange recorder I beheld, 
In evolution moving, horse nor foot, 
Nor ship, that tack'd by sign from land or star. 
With the ten Demons on our \vay we went; 
Ah, fearful company! but in the church 
With saints, with gluttons at the tavern's mess. 
Still earnest on the pitch I gazed, to mark 
All things whate'er the chasm contain'd, and those 
Who burn'd within. As dolphins that, in sign 
To mariners, heave high their arched backs, 
That thence forewarn'd they may advise to save 
Their threaten'd vessel; so, at intervals, 
To ease the pain, his back some sinner show'd, 
Then hid more nimbly than the lightning-glance. 
E'en as the frogs, that of a watery moat 
Stand at the brink, with the jaws only out, 
Their feet and of the trunk all else conceal' d, 
Thus on each part the sinners stood; but soon 
As Barbariccia was at hand, so they 
Drew back under the wave. I saw, and yet 


1 "Tabour, a drum, a common accom. 
paniment of war, is mentioned as one of 
the instruments of martial music in this 
battle (in Richard Cæur-de-Lion) with 


characteristical propriety. It was im- 
ported into the European armies from 
the Saracens in the holy war.'. Warton's 
Hist. of English Poetry, v. i. 
 4, p. 167. 



9 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
My heart doth stagger, one, that waited thus, 
As it befalls that oft one frog remains, 
While the next springs away: and Graffiacan, 
Who of the fiends was nearest, grappling seized 
His clotted locks, and dragg'd him spra\vling up, 
That he appear'd to me an otter. Each 
Already by their names I knew, so well 
When they were chosen I observed, and mark'd 
How one the other call'd. "0 Rubicant! 
See that his hide thou with thy talons flay," 
Shouted together all the cursed crew. 
Then I: "Inform thee, Master! if thou may, 
What wretched soul is this, on whom their hands 
His foes have laid." My leader to his side 
Approach'd, and whence he came inquired; to whom 
Was answer'd thus: "Born in Navarre's domain,2 
My mother placed me in a lord's retinue; 
For she had borne me to a losel vile, 
A spendthrift of his substance and himself. 
The good King Thibault 3 after that I served: 
To peculating here my thoughts were turn'd, 
Whereof I give account in this dire heat." 
Straight Ciriatto, from whose mouth a tusk 
Issued on either side, as from a boar, 
Ripp'd him with one of these. 'Twixt evil claws 
The mouse had fallen: but Barbariccia cried, 
Seizing him with both arms: "Stand thou apart 
While I do fix him on my prong transpierced." 
Then added, turning to my guide his face, 
"Inquire of him, if more thou wish to learn, 
Ere he again be rent." My leader thus: 
"Then tell us of the partners in thy guilt; 
Knowest thou any sprung of Latin land 


2 His name is said to be Ciampolo. 
3 "Thibault I, King of Navarre, died on 
June 8, 1233, as much to be commended 
for the desire he showed of aiding the 
war in the Holy Land, as reprehensible 
and faulty for his design of oppressing 
the rights and privileges of the Church. 
Thibault undoubtedly merits praise, as for 
his other endowments, so especially for 


CANTO XXII 


his cultivation of the liberal arts, his ex- 
ercise and knowledge of music and poetry, 
in which he so much excelled that he 
was accustomed to compose verses and 
sing them to the viol, and to exhibit 
his poetical compositions publicly in his 
palace, that they might be criticised by 
all." 



CANTO XXII 


HELL 


9 1 


Under the tar?" "I parted," he replied, 
"But now from one, who sojourn'd not far thence; 
So were I under shelter now with him, 
Nor hook nor talon then should scare me more." 
"Too long we suffer," Libicocco cried; 
Then, darting forth a prong, seized on his arm, 
And mangled bore away the sinewy part. 
Him Draghinazzo by his thighs beneath 
Would next have caught; whence angrily their chief" 
Turning on all sides round, with threatening brow 
Restrain'd them. When their strife a little ceased, 
Of him, who yet was gazing on his wound, 
My teacher thus without delay inquired: 
"Who was the spirit, from whom by evil hap 
Parting, as thou hast told, thou camest to shore?" 
"It was the friar Gomita," 
 he rejoin'd, 
"He of Gallura, vessel of all guile, 
Who had his master's enemies in hand, 
And used them so that they commend him well. 
Money he took, and them at large dismiss'd; 
So he reports; and in each other charge 
Committed to his keeping play'd the part 
Of barterer to the height. With him doth herd 
The chief of Logodoro, Michel Zanche. 5 
Sardinia is a theme whereof their tongue 
Is never weary. Out! alas! behold 
That other, how he grins. More would I say, 
But tremble lest he mean to maul me sore." 
Their captain then to Farfarello turning, 
Who roll'd his moony eyes in act to strike, 
Rebuked him thus: "Off, cursed bird! avauntl" 
"If ye desire to see or hear," he thus 
Quaking with dread resumed, "or Tuscan spirits 
Or Lombard, I will cause them to appear. 
Meantime let these ill talons bate their fury, 
So that no vengeance they may fear from them, 


4 He was intrusted by Nino de' Visconti 
with the government of Gallura, one of 
the four jurisdictions of Sardinia. He 
took a bribe from his master's enemies 
and allowed them to escape. See also 


Canto xxxiii and Purgatory, Canto viii. 
5 President of Logodoro, of the four 
Sardinian jurisdictions. See Canto xxxiii. 
Note to v. 136. 



9 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CA
TO XXII 


And I, remaining in this self-same place, 
Will, for myself but one, make seven appear, 
When my shrill whistle shall be heard; for so 
Our custom is to call each other up." 
Cagnazzo at that word deriding grinn'd, 
Then wagg'd the head and spake: "Hear his device, 
Mischievous as he is, to plunge him down." 
Whereto he thus, who fail'd not in rich store 
Of nice-wove toils: "Mischief, forsooth, extreme I 
Meant only to procure myself more woe." 
No longer Alichino then refrain'd, 
But thus, the rest gainsaying, him bespake: 
"If thou do cast thee down, I not on foot 
Will chase thee, but above the pitch will beat 
My plumes. Quit we the vantage ground, and let 
The bank be as a shield; that we may see, 
If singly thou prevail against us all." 
N O\V, reader, of new sport expect to hear. 
They each one turn'd his eyes to the other shore, 
He first, who was the hardest to persuade. 
The spirit of Navarre chose well his time, 
Planted his feet on land, and at one leap 
Escaping, disappointed their resolve. 
Them quick resentment stung, but him the most 
Who was the cause of failure: in pursuit 
He therefore sped, exclaiming, "Thou art caught." 
But little it avail'd; terror outstripp'd 
His following flight; the other plunged beneath, 
And he with upward pinion raised his breast: 
E'en thus the water-fowl, when she perceives 
The falcon near, dives instant down, while he 
Enraged and spent retires. That mockery 
In Calcabrina fury stirr'd, who flew 
After him, with desire of strife inflamed; 
And, for thé barterer had 'scaped, so turn'd 
His talons on his comrade. O'er the dyke 
In grapple close they join'd; but the other proved 
A goshawk able to rend well his foe; 
And in the boiling lake both fell. The heat 
Was umpire soon between them; but in vain 



CANTO XXIII 


HELL 


93 


To lift themselves they strove, so fast were glued 
Their pennons. Barbariccia, as the rest, 
That chance lamenting, four in flight despatch'd 
From the other coast, with all their weapons arm'd. 
They, to their post on each side speedily 
Descending, stretch'd their hooks toward the fiends, 
Who Bounder'd, inl y burning from their scars: 
And we departing left them to that broil. 


CANTO XXIII 


ARGUMENT.-The enraged Demons pursue Dante, but he is preserved from them 
by Virgil. On reaching the sixth gulf, he beholds the punishment of the hypocrites; 
which is, to pace continually round the gulf under the pressure of caps and hoods. 
that are gilt on the outside, but leaden within. He is addressed by two of these. 
Catalano and Loderingo, Knights of St. Mary, otherwise called Joyous Friars of 
Bologna. Caïaphas is seen fixed to a cross on the ground, and lies so stretched along 
the way, that all tread on him in passing. 
I N silence and in solitude we went, 
One first, the other following his steps, 
As minor friars journeying on their road. 
The present fray had turn'd my thoughts to muse 
Upon old Æsop's fable/ where he told 
What fate unto the mouse and frog befell; 
For language hath not sounds more like in sense, 
Than are these chances, if the origin 
And end of each be heedfully compared. 
And as one thought bursts from another forth, 
So afterward from that another sprang, 
Which added doubly to my former fear. 
For thus I reason'd: "These through us have been 
So foil'd, with loss and mockery so complete, 
As needs must sting them sore. If anger then 
Be to their evil will conjoin'd, more fell 
They shall pursue us, than the savage hound 
Snatches the leveret panting 'twixt his jaws." 
Already I perceived my hair stand all 
On end with terror, and look'd eager back. 
1 "Æsop's fable." The fable of the off by a kite. It is not among those 
frog, who offered to carry the mouse Greek fables which go under the name 
across a ditch, with the intention of of Æsop. 
drowning him, when both were carried 



94 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIII 


"Teacher," I thus began, "if speedily 
Thyself and me thou hide not, much I dread 
Those evil talons. Even now behind 
They urge us: quick imagination works 
So forcibly, that I already feel them." 
He answer'd : "Were I form'd of leaded glass, 
I should not sooner draw unto myself 
Thy outward image, than I now imprint 
That from within. This moment came thy thoughts 
Presented before mine, with similar act 
And countenance similar, so that from both 
lone design have framed. If the right coast 
Incline so much, that we may thence descend 
Into the other chasm, we shall escape 
Secure from this imagined pursuit." 
He had not spoke his purpose to the end, 
When I from far beheld them with spread wings 
Approach to take us. Suddenly my guide 
Caught me, even as a mother that from sleep 
Is by the noise aroused, and near her sees 
The climbing fires, who snatches up her babe 
And flies ne'er pausing, careful more of him 
Than of herself, that but a single vest 
Clings round her limbs. Down from the jutting beach 
Supine he cast him to that pendent rock, 
Which closes on one part the other chasm. 
Never ran water with such hurrying pace 
Adown the tube to turn a land-mill's wheel, 
When nearest it approaches to the spokes, 
As then along that edge my master ran, 
Carrying me in his bosom, as a child, 
Not a companion. Scarcely had his feet 
Reach'd to the lowest of the bed beneath, 
When over us the steep they reach' d: but fear 
In him was none; for that high Providence, 
Which placed them ministers of the fifth foss, 
Power of departing thence took from them all. 
There in the depth we saw a painted tribe, 
Who paced \vith tardy steps around, and wept, 
Faint in appearance and o'ercome with toil. 



CANTO XXIII 


HELL 
Caps had they on, with hoods, that fell low down 
Before their eyes, in fashion like to those 
Worn by the monks in Cologne. 2 Their outside 
Was overlaid with gold, dazzling to view, 
But leaden all within, and of such weight, 
That Frederick's3 compared to these were straw. 
Oh, everlasting wearisome attire! 
We yet once more with them together turn'd 
To leftward, on their dismal moan intent. 
But by the weight opprest, so slowly came 
The fainting people, that our company 
Was changed, at every movement of the step. 
Whence I my guide address'd: "See that thou find 
Some spirit, whose name may by his deeds be known; 
And to that end look round thee as thou go'st." 
Then one, who understood the Tuscan voice, 
Cried after us aloud: "Hold in your feet, 
Ye who so swiftly speed through the dusk air. 
Perchance from me thou shalt obtain thy wish." 
Whereat my leader, turning, me bespake: 
"Pause, and then onward at their pace proceed." 
I staid, and saw two spirits in whose look 
Impatient eagerness of mind was mark'd 
To overtake me; but the load they bare 
And narrow path retarded their approach. 
Soon as arrived, they with an eye askance 
Perused me, but spake not: then turning, each 
To other thus conferring said: "This one 
Seems, by the action of his throat, alive; 
And, be they dead, what privilege allows 
They walk unmantled by the cumbrous stole?" 
Then thus to me: "Tuscan, who visitest 
The college of the mourning hypocrites, 
Disdain not to instruct us who thou art." 
"By Arne's pleasant stream," I thus replied, 
"In the great city I was bred and grew, 
And wear the body I have ever worn. 


2 They wore unusually large cowls. 
3 The Emperor Frederick II is said to 
have punished those who were guilty of 


high treason by wrapping them up in 
lead and casting them into a furnace. 


95 



96 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIII 


But who are ye, trom whom such mighty grief, 
As now I witness, courseth down your cheeks? 
What torment breaks forth in this bitter woe?" 
"Our bonnets gleaming bright with orange hue," 
One of them answer'd, "are so leaden gross, 
That with their weight they make the balances 
To crack beneath them. Joyous friars 4 we were, 
Bologna's natives; Catalano I, 
He Loderingo named; and by thy land 
Together taken, as men used to take 
A single and indifferent arbiter, 
To reconcile their strifes. How there we sped, 
Gardingo's vicinage 5 can best declare." 
"0 friars!" I began, "your miseries-" 
But there brake off, for one had caught mine eye, 
Fix'd to a cross with three stakes on the ground: 
He, when he saw me, writhed himself, throughout 
Distorted, ruffling with deep sighs his beard. 
And Catalano, who thereof was 'ware, 
Thus spake: "That pierced spirit,6 whom intent 
Thou view'st, was he who gave the Pharisees 
Counsel, that it were fitting for one man 


4 "Joyous friars." "Those who ruled 
the city of Florence on the part of the 
Ghibellines perceiving this discontent and 
murmuring, which they were fearful 
might produce a rebellion against them. 
selves, in order to satisfy the people, made 
choice of two knights, Frati Gaudenti 
(joyous friars) of Bologna, on whom they 
conferred the chief power in Florence; 
one named M:. Catalano de' Malavolti, 
the other M. Loderingo di Liandolo; one 
an adherent of the Guelf, the other of the 
Ghibelline party. It is to be remarked, 
that the Joyous Friars were called Knights 
of St. Mary, and became knights on tak. 
ing that habit: their robes were white, 
the mantle sable, and the arms a white 
field and red cross with two stars: their 
office was to defend widows and orphans. 
they were to act as mediators; they had 
internal regulations, like other reli
ious 
bodies. The above-mentioned M. Loder. 
ingo was the founder of that order. But 
it was not long before they too well de. 


served the appellation given them, and 
were found to be more bent on enjoying 
themselves than on any other object. 
These two friars were called in by the 
Florentines, and had a residence assigned 
them in the palace belonging to the 
people, over against the Abbey. Such was 
the dependence placed on the character 
of their order, it was expected they would 
be impartial, and would save the com- 
monwealth any unnecessary expense; in- 
stead of which, though inclined to op- 
posite parties, they secretly and hypo- 
critically concurred in promoting their 
own advantage rather than the public 
good. "-G. Villani, b. vii. c. xiii. This 
happened in 1266. 
5 The name of that part of the city 
which was inhabited by the powerful 
Ghibclline family of the Uberti, and de- 
stroyed under the partial and iniquitous 
Idministration of Catalano and Loderingo. 
6 "That pierced spirit." CaÏaphas. 



CANTO XXIII 


HELL 
To suffer for the people. He doth lie 
Transverse; nor any passes, but him first 
Behoves make feeling trial how each weighs. 
In straits like this along the foss are placed 
The father of his consort,7 and the rest 
Partakers in that council, seed of ill 
And sorrow to the Jews." I noted then, 
How Virgil gazed with wonder upon him, 
Thus abjectly extended on the cross 
In banishment eternal. To the friar 
He next his words address'd: "We pray ye tell, 
If so be lawful, whether on our right 
Lies any opening in the rock, whereby 
We both may issue hence, without constraint 
On the dark angels, that compell'd they come 
To lead us from this depth." He thus replied: 
"Nearer than thou dost hope, there is a rock 
From the great circle moving, which 0' ersteps 
Each vale of horror, save that here his cope 
Is shatter'd. By the ruin ye may mount: 
For on the side it slants, and most the height 
Rises below." With head bent down awhile 
My leader stood; then spake: "He warn'd us ill, 
Who yonder hangs the sinners on his hook." 
To whom the friar: "At Bologna erst 
I many vices of the Devil heard; 
Among the rest was said, 'He is a liar, 
And the father of lies!'" When he had spoke, 
My leader with large strides proceeded on, 
Somewhat disturb'd with anger in his look. 
I therefore left the spirits heavy laden, 
And, following, his beloved footsteps mark'd. 
7 Annas, father-in-law to Caïaphas. 


97 



9 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIV 


CANTO XXIV 


ARGUMENT.-Under the escort of his faithful master, Dante not without difficulty 
makes his way out of the sixth gulf; and In the seventh, sees the robbers tormented 
by venomous and pestilent serpents. The soul of Vanni Fucci, who had pillaged the 
sacristy of St. James in Pistoia, predicts some calamities that impended over that city, 
and over the Florentines. 


I N the year's early nonage,t when the sun 
Tempers his tresses in Aquarius' urn, 
And now toward equal day the nights recede; 
Whenas the rime upon the earth puts on 
Her dazzling sister's image, but not long 
Her milder sway endures; then riseth up 
The village hind, whom fails his wintry store, 
And looking out beholds the plain around 
All whiten'd; whence impatiently he smites 
His thighs, and to his hut returning in, 
There paces to and fro, wailing his lot, 
As a discomfited and helpless man; 
Then comes he forth again, and feels new hope 
Spring in his bosom, finding e'en thus soon 
The world hath changed its countenance, grasps his crook, 
And forth to pasture drives his little flock: 
So me my guide dishearten'd, when I saw 
His troubled forehead; and so speedily 
That ill was cured; for at the fallen bridge 
Arriving, toward me with a look as sweet, 
He turn'd him back, as that I first beheld 
At the steep mountain's foot. Regarding well 
The ruin, and some counsel first maintain'd 
With his own thought, he open'd wide his arm 
And took me up. As one, who, while he works, 
Computes his labor's issue, that he seems 
Still to foresee the effect; so lifting me 
Up to the summit of one peak, he fix'd 
His eye upon another. "Grapple that," 
Said he, "but first make proof, if it be such 
As will sustain thee." For one capt with lead 


1 "At the latter part of January, when 
the sun enters Aquarius, and the equinox 
draws near, when the hoar-frosts in the 


morning often wear the appearance of 
snow, but are melted by the rising sun." 



CANTO XXIV 


HELL 


99 


This were no journey. Scarcely he, though light, 
And I, though onward push'd from crag to crag, 
Could mount. And if the precinct of this coast 
Were not less ample than the last, for him 
I know not, but my strength had surely fail'd. 
But Malebolge all toward the mouth 
Inclining of the nethermost abyss, 
The site of every valley hence requires, 
That one side upward slope, the other fall. 
At length the point from whence the utmost stone 
Juts down, we reach'd; soon as to that arrived, 
So was the breath exhausted from my lungs 
I could no further, but did seat me there. 
"Now needs thy best of man;" so spake my guide: 
"For not on downy plumes, nor under shade 
Of canopy reposing, fame is won; 
Without which whosoe'r consumes his days, 
Leaveth such vestige of himself on earth, 
As smoke in air or foam upon the wave. 
Thou therefore rise: vanquish thy weariness 
By the mind's effort, in each struggle form'd 
To vanquish, if she suffer not the weight 
Of her corporeal frame to crush her down. 
A longer ladder yet remains to scale. 
From these to have escaped sufficeth not, 
If well thou note me, profit by my words." 
I straightway rose, and show'd myself less spent 
Than I in truth did feel me. "On," I cried, 
"For I am stout and fearless." Up the rock 
Our way we held, more rugged than before, 
Narrower, and steeper far to climb. From talk 
I ceased not, as we journey'd, so to seem 
Least faint; whereat a voice from the other foss 
Did issue forth, for utterance suited ill. 
Though on the arch that crosses there I stood, 
What were the words I knew not, but who spake 
Seem'd moved in anger. Down I stoop'd to look; 
But my quick eye might reach not to the depth 
For shrouding darkness; wherefore thus I spake: 
"To the next circle, teacher, bend thy steps, 



100 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIV 


And from the wall dismount we; for as hence 
I hear and understand not, so I see 
Beneath, and naught discern." "I answer not," 
Said he, "but by the deed. To fair request 
Silent performance maketh best return." 
We from the bridge's head descended, where 
To the eighth mound it joins; and then, the chasm 
Opening to view, I saw a crowd within 
Of serpents terrible, so strange of shape 
And hideous, that remembrance in my veins 
Yet shrinks the vital current. Of her sands 
Let Libya vaunt no more: if Jaculus, 
Pareas and Chel yder be her brood, 
Cenchris and Amphisbæna, plagues so dire 
Or in such numbers swarming ne'er she sho\v'd, 
Not with all Ethiopia, and whate'er 
Above the Erythræan sea is spawn'd. 
Amid this dread exuberance of woe 
Ran naked spirits wing'd with horrid fear, 
Nor hope had they of crevice where to hide, 
Or heliotrope to charm them out of vie\v. 
With serpents were their hands behind them bound, 
Which through their reins infix'd the tail and head, 
Twisted in folds before. And lo! on one 
Near to our side, darted an adder up, 
And, where the neck is on the shoulders tied, 
Transpierced him. Far more quickly than e'er pen 
Wrote 0 or I, he kindled, burn'd, and changed 
To ashes all, pour'd out upon the earth. 
When there dissolved he lay, the dust again 
U proll' d spontaneous, and the self-same form 
Instant resumed. So mighty sages tell, 
The Arabian Phænix, when five hundred years 
Have well-nigh circled, dies, and springs forthwith 
Renascent: blade nor herb throughout his life 
He tastes, but tears of frankincense alone 
And odorous amomum: swaths of nard 
And myrrh his funeral shroud. As one that falls, 
He knows not how, by force demoniac dragg'd 



CANTO XXIV 


HELL 


101 


To earth, or through obstruction fettering up 
In chains invisible the powers of man, 
Who, risen from his trance, gazeth around, 
Bewilder'd with the monstrous agony 
He hath endured, and wildly staring sighs; 
So stood aghast the sinner when he rose. 
Oh! how severe God's judgment, that deals out 
Such blows in stormy vengeance. Who he was, 
My teacher next inquired; and thus in few 
He answer'd: "Vanni Fucci 2 am I call'd, 
Not long since rained down from Tuscany 
To this dire gullet. Me the bestial life 
And not the human pleased, mule that I was, 
Who in Pistoia found my worthy den." 
I then to Virgil: "Bid him stir not hence; 
And ask what crime did thrust him thither: once 
A man I knew him, choleric and bloody." 
The sinner heard and feign'd not, but toward me 
His mind directing and his face, wherein 
Was dismal shame depictured, thus he spake: 
"It grieves me more to have been caught by thee 
In this sad plight, which thou beholdest, than 
When I was taken from the other life. 
I have no power permitted to deny 
What thou inquire st. I am doom'd thus low 
To dwell, for that the sacristy by me 
Was rifled of its goodly ornaments, 
And with the guilt another falsely charged. 
But that thou mayst not joy to see me thus, 
So as thou e'er shalt 'scape this darksome realm, 
Open thine ears and hear what I forebode. 
Reft of the Neri first Pistoia 3 pines; 
Then Florence 4 changeth citizens and laws; 
2 Said to have been an illegitimate off- Pistoia, with the help of the Bianchi who 
spring of the family of Lazari in Pistoia, ruled Florence, drove out the party of the 
to have robbed th
 sacristy of the church Neri from the former place, destroying 
of St. James in that city, and to have their houses, palaces, and farms." 
charged Vanni della Nona with the sacri- 4 "Then Florence." "Soon after the 
lege; in consequence of which the latter Bianchi will be expelled from Florence, 
suffered death. the Neri will prevail, and the laws and 
3 "In May, 130 I, the Bianchi party of people will be changed." 



102 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXV 


From Valdimagra,5 drawn by wrathful Mars, 
A vapor rises, wrapt in turbid mists, 
And sharp and eager driveth on the storm 
With arrowy hurtling o'er Piceno's field, 
Whence suddenly the cloud shall burst, and strike 
Each helpless Bianco prostrate to the ground. 
This have I told, that grief may rend thy heart." 


CANTO XXV 


ARGUMENT.-The sacrilegious Fucci vents his fury in blasphemy, is seized by 
serpents, and flying is pursued by Cacus in the form of a Centaur, who is described 
with a swarm of serpents on his haunch, and a dragon on his shoulders breathing 
forth fire. OUf Poet then meets with the spirits of three of his countrymen, two of 
whom undergo a marvelous transformation in his presence. 


W HEN he had spoke, the sinner raised his hands
 
Pointed in mockery and cried: "Take them, 
God! 
I level them at thee." From that day forth 
The serpents were my friends; for round his neck 
One of them rolling twisted, as it said, 
"Be silent, tongue!" Another, to his arms 
Upgliding, tied them, riveting itself 
So close, it took from them the power to move. 
Pistoia! ah, Pistoia! why dost doubt 
To turn thee into ashes, cumbering earth 
No longer, since in evil act so far 
Thou hast outdone thy seed? I did not mark, 
Through all the gloomy circles of the abyss, 
Spirit, that swell'd so proudly 'gainst his God; 


5 Alluding to the victory obtained by 
the Marquis Morello Malaspina of Valdi- 
magra, who put himself at the head of 
the Neri, and defeated their opponents the 
Bianchi, in the Campo Pice no near Pistoia, 

oon after the occurrence related in the 
preceding note on v. 142. Currado Ma- 
laspina is introduced in the eighth Canto 
of the Purgatory; where it appears, that 
al though on the present occasion they 
espoused contrary sides, most important 
favors were nevertheless conferred by that 


family on our Poet, at a subsequent period 
of his exile, in 1307. 
1 "The practice of thrusting out the 
thumb between the first and second 
fingers, to express the feelings of insult 
and contempt, has prevailed very gener- 
ally among the nations of Europe, and 
for many ages had been denominated 
'making the fig,' or described at least by 
some equivalent expression."-Douce's 
"Illustrations of Shakespeare," vol. i. p. 
492, ed. 1807. 



CANTO XXV 


HELL 
Not him, 2 who headlong fell from Thebes. He fled, 
Nor utter'd more; and after him there came 
A Centaur full of fury, shouting, "Where, 
Where is the caitiff?" On Maremma's marsh 3 
Swarm not the serpent tribe, as on his haunch 
They swarm'd, to where the human face begins. 
Behind his head, upon the shoulders, lay 
With open wings a dragon, breathing fire 
On whomsoe'er he met. To me my guide: 
"Cacus is this, who underneath the rock 
Of Aventine spread oft a lake of blood. 
He, from his brethren parted, here must tread 
A different journey, for his fraudful theft 
Of the great herd that near him stall'd; whence found 
His felon deeds their end, beneath the mace 
Of stout Alcides, that perchance laid on 
A hundred blows, and not the tenth was felt." 
While yet he spake, the Centaur sped away: 
And under us three spirits came, of whom 
Nor I nor he was ware, till they exclaim'd, 
"Say who are yet" We then brake off discourse, 
Intent on these alone. I knew them not: 
But, as it chanceth oft, befell that one 
Had need to name another. "Where," said he, 
"Doth Cianfa 4 lurk?" I, for a sign my guide 
Should stand attentive, placed against my lips 
The finger lifted. If, 0 reader! now 
Thou be not apt to credit what I tell, 
No marvel; for myself do scarce allow 
The witness of mine eyes. But as Ilook'd 
Toward them, lo! a serpent with six feet 
Springs forth on one, and fastens full upon him: 
His midmost grasp'd the belly, a forefoot 
Seized on each arm (while deep in either cheek 
He flesh'd his fangs); the hinder on the thighs 
Were spread, 'twixt which the tail inserted curl'd 
Upon the reins behind. I vy ne'er clasp'd 
A dodder'd oak, as round the other's limbs 


2 Capaneus. Canto xiv. 
3 Near the Tuscan shore. 


10 3 


4 Said to have been of the family of 
Donati at Florence. 



10 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXV 


The hideous monster intertwined his own. 
Then, as they both had been of burning wax, 
Each melted into other, mingling hues, 
That which was either now was seen no more. 
Thus up the shrinking paper, ere it burns, 
A brown tint glides, not turning yet to black, 
And the clean white expires. The other two 
Look'd on exclaiming, "Ah! how dost thou change, 
Agnello!5 See! Thou art nor double now, 
Nor only one." The two heads now became 
One, and two figures blended in one form 
Appear'd, where both were lost. Of the four lengths 
Two arms were made: the belly and the chest, 
The thighs and legs, into such members changed 
As never eye hath seen. Of former shape 
All trace was vanish'd. Two, yet neither, seem'd 
That image miscreate, and so pass'd on 
With tardy steps. As underneath the scourge 
Of the fierce dog-star that lays bare the fields, 
Shifting from brake to brake the lizard seems 
A flash of lightning, if he thwart the road; 
So toward the entrails of the other two 
Approaching seem'd an adder all on fire, 
As the dark pepper-grain livid and swart. 
In that part, whence our life is nourish'd first, 
Once he transpierced; then down before him fell 
Stretch'd out. The pierced spirit look'd on him, 
But spake not; yea, stood motionless and yawn'd, 
As if by sleep or feverous fit assaiI'd. 
He eyed the serpent, and the serpent him. 
One from the wound, the other from the mouth 
Breathed a thick smoke, whose vapory columns join'd. 
Lucan in mute attention now may hear, 
Nor thy disastrous fate, Sabellus, tell, 
Nor thine, Nasidius. Ovid now be mute. 
What if in warbling fiction he record 
Cadmus and Arethusa, to a snake 
Him changed, and her into a fountain clear, 
I envy not; for never face to face 
:i "Agnello." Agnello Brunelleschi. 



CANTO XXV 


HELL 


10 5 


Two natures thus transmuted did he sing, 
Wherein both shapes were ready to assume 
The other's substance. They in mutual guise 
So answer'd that the serpent split his train 
Divided to a fork, and the pierced spirit 
Drew close his steps together, legs and thighs 
Compacted, that no sign of juncture soon 
Was visible: the tail, disparted, took 
The figure which the spirit lost; its skin 
Softening, his indurated to a rind. 
The shoulders next I mark'd, that entering join'd 
The monster's arm-pits, whose two shorter feet 
So lengthen'd, as the others dwindling shrunk. 
The feet behind then twisting up became 
That part that man conceals, which in the wretch 
Was cleft in twain. While both the shadowy smoke 
With a new color veils, and generates 
The excrescent pile on one, peeling it off 
From the other body, lo! upon his feet 
One upright rose, and prone the other fell. 
Nor yet their glaring and malignant lamps 
Were shifted, though each feature changed beneath. 
Of him who stood erect, the mounting face 
Retreated toward the temples, and what there 
Superfluous matter came, shot out in ears 
From the smooth cheeks; the rest, not backward dragg'd, 
Of its excess did shape the nose; and swell'd 
Into due size protuberant the lips. 
He, on the earth who lay, meanwhile extends 
His sharpen'd visage, and draws down the ears 
Into the head, as doth the slug his horns. 
His tongue, continuous before and apt 
For utterance, severs; and the other's fork 
Closing unites. That done, the smoke was laid. 
The soul, transform'd into the brute, glides off, 
Hissing along the vale, and after him 
The other talking sputters; but soon turn'd 
His new-grown shoulders on him, and in few 
Thus to another spake: "Along this path 
Crawling, as I have done, speed Buoso now!" 



106 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVI 


So saw I fluctuate in successive change 
The unsteady ballast of the seventh hold: 
And here if aught my pen have swerved, events 
So strange may be its warrant. O'er mine eyes 
Confusion hung, and on my thoughts amaze. 
Yet 'scaped they not so covertly, but well 
I mark'd Sciancato: he alone it was 
Of the three first that came, who changed not: tho' 
The other's fate, Gaville! still dost rue. 


CANTO XXVI 


ARGUMENT.-Remounting by the steps, down which they have descended to the 
seventh gulf, they go forward to the arch that stretches over the eighth, and from 
thence behold numberless flames wherein are punished the evil counsellors, each flame 
containing a sinner, save one, in which were Diomede and Ulysses, the latter of whom 
relates the manner of his death. 


F LORENCE, exult! for thou so mightily 
Hast thriven, that o'er land and sea thy wings 
Thou beatest, and thy name spreads over hell. 
Among the plunderers, such the three I found 
Thy citizens; whence shame to me thy son, 
And no proud honour to thyself redounds. 
But if our minds, when dreaming near the dawn, 
Are of the truth presageful, thou ere long 
Shalt feel what Prato 1 (not to say the rest) 
Would fain might come upon thee; and that chance 
Were in good time, if it befell thee now. 
Would so it were, since it must needs befall! 
For as time wears me, I shall grieve the more. 
We from the depth departed; and my guide 
Remounting scaled the flinty steps, which late 
We downward traced, and drew me up the steep. 
Pursuing thus our solitary way 


1 "Shalt feel what Prato." The Poet 
prognosticates the calamities which were 
soon to befall his native city, and which, 
he says, even her nearest neighbor, Prato, 
would wish her. The calamities more 
particularly pointed at are said to be the 
fall of a wooden bridge over the Arno, 
in May, 1304, where a large multitude 


were assembled to witness a representa- 
tion of hell and the infernal torments, in 
consequence of which accident many lives 
were lost; and a conflagration, that in the 
following month destroyed more than 
1,700 houses. See G. Villani, Hist. lib. 
viii. c. lxx. and b"xi. 



CANTO XXV] 


HELL 


10 7 


Among the crags and splinters of the rock, 
Sped not our feet without the help of hands. 
Then sorrow seized me, which e'en now revives, 
As my thought turns again to what I saw, 
And, more than I am wont, I rein and curb 
The powers of nature in me, lest they run 
Where Virtue guides not; that, if aught of good 
My gentle star or something better gave me, 
I envy not myself the precious boon. 
As in that season, when the sun least veils 
His face that lightens all, what time the fly 
Gives way to the shrill gnat, the peasant then, 
Upon some cliff reclined, beneath him sees 
Fire-flies innumerous spangling o'er the vale, 
Vineyard or tilth, where his day-labor lies; 
With flames so numberless throughout its space 
Shone the eighth chasm, apparent, when the depth 
Was to my view exposed. As he, whose wrongs 
The bears avenged, as its departure saw 
Elijah's chariot, when the steeds erect 
Raised their steep flight for heaven; his eyes meanwhile, 
Straining pursued them, till the flame alone, 
U psoaring like a misty speck, he kenn'd: 
E' en thus along the gulf moves every flame, 
A sinner so enfolded close in each, 
That none exhibits token of the theft. 
Upon the bridge I forward bent to look 
And grasp'd a flinty mass, or else had fallen, 
Though push'd not from the height. The guide, who mark'd 
How I did gaze attentive, thus began: 
"Within these ardours are the spirits; each 
Swathed in confining fire." "Master! thy word," 
I answer'd, "hath assured me; yet I deem'd 
Already of the truth, already wish'd 
To ask thee who is in yon fire, that comes 
So parted at the summit, as it seem'd 
Ascending from that funeral pile 2 where lay 
The Theban brothers." He replied: "Within, 


2 The flame is said to have divided the 
bodies of Eteocles and Polynices, as if 


conscious of the enmity that actuated 
them while living. 



108 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVI 


Ulysses there and Diomede endure 
Their penal tortures, thus to vengeance now 
Together hasting, as erewhile to wrath 
These in the flame with ceaseless groans deplore 
The ambush of the horse,3 that open'd wide 
A portal for the goodly seed to pass, 
Which sow'd imperial Rome; nor less the guile 
Lament they, whence, of her Achilles 'reft, 
Deïdamia yet in death complains. 
And there is rued the stratagem that Troy 
Of her Palladium spoil'd."-"If they have power 
Of utterance from \vithin these sparks," said I, 
"0 master! think my prayer a thousand-fold 
. In repetition urged, that thou vouchsafe 
To pause till here the horned flame arrive. 
See, how toward it with desires I bend." 
He thus: "Thy prayer is worthy of much praise, 
And I accept it therefore; but do thou 
Thy tongue refrain: to question them be mine; 
For I divine thy wish; and they perchance, 
For they were Greeks,4 might shun discourse with thee." 
When there the flame had come, where time and place 
Seem'd fitting to my guide, he thus began: 
"0 ye, who dwell two spirits in one fire! 
If, living, I of you did merit aught, 
Whate' er the measure were of that desert, 
When in the world my lofty strain I pour'd, 
Move ye not on, till one of you unfold 
In what clime death o'ertook him self-destroy'd." 
Of the old flame forthwith the greater horn 
Began to roll, murmuring, as a fire 
That labors with the wind, then to and fro 
Wagging the top, as a tongue uttering sounds, 
Threw out its voice, and spake: "When I escaped 
From Circe, \vho beyond a circling year 
Had held me near Caieta by her charms, 
Ere thus Æneas yet had named the shore; 
Nor fondness for my son, nor reverence 


3 The wooden horse that caused Æneas 
to quit Troy and seek his fortune in Italy, 


where his descendants founded Rome. 
4 Perhaps implying arrogance. 



CANTO XXVI 


HELL 


10 9 


Of myoid father, nor return of love, 
That should have crown'd Penelope with joy, 
Could overcome in me the zeal I had 
To explore the world, and search the ways of life, 
Man's evil and his virtue. Forth I sail'd 
Into the deep illimitable main, 
With but one bark, and the small faithful band 
That yet cleaved to me. As Iberia far, 
Far as Marocco, either shore I saw, 
And the Sardinian and each isle beside 
Which round that ocean bathes. Tardy with age 
Were I and my companions, when we came 
To the strait pass,5 where Hercules or dain'd 
Th e boundaries not to be o'e
e
b
n . 
The walls of Seville to my right I left, , 
On the other hand already Ceuta past. 
'0 brothers
' I began, 'who to the west 
Through perils without number now have reach'd; 
To this the short remaining watch, that yet 
Our senses have to wake, refuse not proof 
Of the unpeopled world, following the track 
Of Phæbus. Call to mind from whence ye sprang: 
Ye were not form'd to live the life of brutes, 
But virtue to pursue and knowledge high.' 
With these few words I sharpen'd for the voyage 
The mind of my associates, that I then 
Could scarcely have withheld them. To the dawn 
Our poop we turn'd, and for the witless flight 
Made our oars wings, still gaining on the left. 
Each star of the other pole night now beheld, 
And ours so low, that from the ocean floor 
I t rose not. Five times reill umed, as oft 
Vanish'd the light from underneath the moon, 
Since the deep way we enter'd, when from far 
Appear'd a mountain dim,6 loftiest methought 


5 The Strait of Gibraltar. 
6 The mountain of Purgatory.-Among 
various opinions respecting the situation 
of the terrestrial paradise, Pietro Lorn. 
bardo relates, that ceit was separated by 
a long space, either of sea or land, from 


the regions inhabited by men, and placed 
in the ocean, reaching as far as to the 
lunar circle, so that the waters of the 
deluge did not reach it."-Sent. lib. ii. 
dist. 17. 



IIQ 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVII 


Of all I e'er beheld. Joy seized us straight; 
But soon to mourning changed. From the new land 
A whirlwind sprung, and at her foremost side 
Did strike the vessel. Thrice it whirl'd her round 
With all the waves; the fourth time lifted up 
The poop, and sank the prow: so fate decreed: 
And over us the booming billow closed." 7 


CANTO XXVII 


ARGUMENT.- The Poet, treating of the same punishment as in the last Canto, 
relates that he turned toward a flame in which was the Count Guido da Montdcltro, 
whose inquiries respecting the state of Romagna he answers; and Guido is thereby 
induced to declare who he is, and why condemned to that torment. 


N OW upward rose the flame, and still'd its light 
To speak no more, and now pass'd on with leave 
From the mild poet gain'd; when following came 
Another, from whose top a sound confused, 
Forth issuing, drew our eyes that way to look. 
As the Sicilian bull, 1 that rightfully 
His cries first echoed who had shaped its mould, 
Did so rebellow, with the voice of him 
Tormented, that the brazen monster seem'd 
Pierced through with pain; thus, while no way they found, 
Nor avenue immediate through the flame, 
Into its language turn'd the dismal words: 
But soon as they had won their passage forth, 
Up from the point, which vibrating obey'd 
Their motion at the tongue, these sounds were heard: 
"0 thou! to whom I now direct my voice, 
That lately didst exclaim in Lombard phrase, 
'Depart thou; I solicit thee no more;1 
Though somewhat tardy I perchance arrive, 
Let it not irk thee here to pause awhile, 


7 "Closed." Venturi refers to Pliny and 
Solinus for the opinion that Ulysses was 
the founder of Lisbon, from whence he 
thinks it was easy for the fancy of a poet 
to send him on yet further enterprises. 
The story (which it is not unlikely that 
our author borrowed from some legend 
of the Middle Ages) may have taken its 


rise partly from the obscure oracle re- 
turned by the ghost of Tiresias to Ulysses 
(eleventh book of the Odyssey), and 
partly from the fate which there was 
reason to suppose had befallen some ad- 
venturous explorers of the Atlantic Ocean. 
1 The engine of torture invented by 
Perillus, for the tyrant Phalaris. 



CANTO XXVII 


HELL 


III 


And with me parley: lot it irks not me, 
And yet I burn. If but e'en now thou fall 
Into this blind world, from that pleasant land 
Of Latium, whence I draw my sum of guilt, 
Tell me if those who in Romagna dwell 
Have peace or war. For of the mountains there 2 
Was I, betwixt Urbino and the height 
Whence Tiber first unlocks his mighty flood." 
Leaning I listen'd yet with heedful ear, 
When, as he touch'd my side, the leader thus: 
"Speak thou: he is a Latian." My reply 
Was ready, and I spake without delay: 
"0 spirit! who art hidden here below, 
Never was thy Romagna without war 
In her proud tyrants' bosoms, nor is now: 
But open war there left I none. The state, 
Ravenna hath maintain'd this many a year, 
Is stedfast. There Polenta's eagle 3 broods; 
And in his broad circumference of plume 
0' ershadows Cervia. The green talons grasp 
The land,4 that stood erewhile the proof so long 
And piled in bloody heap the host of France. 
"The old mastiff of Verrucchio and the young, 5 
That tore Montagna 6 in their wrath, still make, 
Where they are wont, an augre of their fangs. 
"Lamone's city, and Santerno's,7 range 


2 Montefeltro. 
3 "Polenta's eagle." Guido Novello da 
Polenta, who bore an eagle for his coat- 
of-arms. The name of Polenta was de- 
rived from a castle so called in the 
neighborhood of Brittonoro. Cervi a is a 
small maritime city, about fifteen miles 
to the south of Ravenna. Guido was the 
son of Ostasio da Polenta, and made him- 
self master of Ravenna in 1265. In 1322 
he was deprived of his sovereignty, and 
died at Bologna in 1323. This last and 
most munificent patron of Dante is enu- 
merated among the poets of his time. 
4 The territory of Forli, the inhabitants 
of which, in 1282, were enabled, by the 
stratagem of Guido da Montefeltro, the 
governor, to defeat the French army by 


which it had been besieged. See G. Vil- 
lani, lib. vii. c. lxxxi. The Poet informs 
Guido, its former ruler, that it is now 
in the possession of Sinibaldo Ordolaffi, 
whom he designates by his coat-of-arms, 
a lion vert. 
5 Malatesta and Malatestino his son, 
lords of Rimini, called from their feroc- 
ity, the mastiffs of Verrucchio, which 
was the name of their castle. Malates- 
tino was, perhaps, the husband of Fran- 
cesca, daughter of Guido da Polenta. 
See notes to Canto v. 113. 
6 Montagna de' Parcitati, a noble and 
leader of the Ghibelline party at Rimini, 
murdered by Malatestino. 
7 Lamone is the river at Faenza, and 
Santerno at Imola. 



112 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVII 


Under the lion of the snowy lair, 8 
Inconstant partisan, that changeth sides, 
Or ever summer yields to winter's frost. 
And she, whose flank is wash'd of Savio's wave,9 
As 'twixt the level and the steep she lies, 
Lives so 'twixt tyrant power and liberty. 
"Now tell us, I entreat thee, who art thou: 
Be not more hard than others. In the world, 
So may thy name still rear its forehead high." 
Then roar'd awhile the fire, its sharpen'd point 
On either side waved, and thus breathed at last: 
"If I did think my answer were to one 
Who ever could return unto the world, 
This flame should rest unshaken. But since ne'er, 
If true be told me, any from this depth 
Has found his upward way, I answer thee, 
Nor fear lest infamy record the words. 
"A man of arms lO at first, I clothed me then 
In good Saint Francis' girdle, hoping so 
To have made amends. And certainly my hope 
Had fail'd not, but that he, whom curses light on, 
The high priest,11 again seduced me into sin. 
And how, and wherefore, listen while I tell. 
Long as this spirit moved the bones and pulp 
My mother gave me, less my deeds bespake 
The nature of the lion than the fox. 
All ways of winding subtlety I knew, 
And with such art conducted, that the sound 
Reach'd the world's limit. Soon as to that part 
Of life I found me come, and when each behoves 
To lower sails and gather in the lines; 
That, which before had pleased me, then I rued, 
And to repentance and confession turn'd, 
W retch that I was; and well it had bested me. 


8 Macbinardo Pagano, whose arms were 
a lion azure on a field argent. See also 
Purgatory, Canto xiv. 122. 
9 Cesena, situated at the foot of a 
mountain, and washed by the river Savio, 


that often descends with a swollen and 
rapid stream from the Apennines. 
10 Guido da Montefeltro. 
11 Boniface VIII. 



CANTO XXVII 


HELL 


113 


The chief of the new Pharisees 12 meantime, 
Waging his warfare near the Lateran, 
Not with the Saracens or Jews (his foes 
All Christians were, nor against Acre one 
Had fought,13 nor traffick'd in the Soldan's land), 
He, his great charge nor sacred ministry, 
In himself reverenced, nor in me that cord 
Which used to mark with leanness whom it girded. 
As in Soracte, Constantine besought, 
To cure his leprosy, Sylvester's aid; 
So me, to cure the fever of his pride, 
This man besought: my counsel to that end 
He ask'd; and I was silent; for his words 
Seem'd drunken: but forthwith he thus resumed: 
'From thy heart banish fear: of all offence 
I hitherto absolve thee. In return, 
Teach me my purpose so to execute, 
That Penestrino cumber earth no more. 
Heaven, as thou knowest, I have power to shut 
And open: and the keys are therefore twain, 
The which my predecessor 14 meanly prized.' 
"Then, yielding to the forceful arguments, 
Of silence, as more perilous I deem'd, 
And answer'd : 'Father! since thou washest me 
Clear of that guilt wherein I now must fall, 
Large promise with performance scant, be sure, 
Shall make thee triumph in thy lofty seat.' 
"When I was number'd with the dead, then came 
Saint Francis for me; but a cherub dark 
He met, who cried, 'Wrong me not; he is mine, 
And must below to join the wretched crew, 


12 Boniface VIII, whose enmity to the 
family of Colonna prompted him to de- 
stroy their houses near the Lateran. Wish- 
ing to obtain possession of their other 
seat, Penestrino, he consulted with Guido 
da Montefeltro, offering him absolution 
for his past sins, as well as for that which 
he was then tempting him to commit. 
Guido's advice was that kind words and 
fair promises would put his enemies into 


his power; and they accordingly soon 
afterward fell into the snare laid for 
them, 1298. 
13 All uding to the renegade Christians, 
by whom the Saracens, in April, 1291, 
were assisted to recover St. John d'Acre, 
the last possession of the Christians in the 
Holy Land. 
14 Celestine V. See notes to Canto iii. 



114 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVIII 


For the deceitful counsel which he gave. 
E'er since I watch'd him, hovering at his hair. 
No power can the impenitent absolve; 
Nor to repent, and will, at once consist, 
By contradiction absolute forbid.' 
Oh misery! how I shook myself, when he 
Seized me, and cried, 'Thou haply thought'st me not 
A disputant in logic so exact!' 
To Minos down he bore me; and the judge 
Twined eight times round his callous back the tail, 
Which biting with excess of rage, he spake: 
'This is a guilty soul, that in the fire 
Must vanish.' Hence, perdition-doom'd, I rove 
A prey to rankling sorrow, in this garb." 
When he had thus fulfill'd his words, the flame 
In dolour parted, beating to and fro, 
And writhing its sharp horn. We onward went, 
I and my leader, up along the rock, 
Far as another arch, that overhangs 
The foss, wherein the penalty is paid 
Of those who load them with committed sin. 


CANTO XXVIII 


ARGUMENT.-They arrive in the ninth gulf, where the sowers of scandal, schismatic
, 
and heretics, are seen with their limbs maimed or divid
d in different ways. Among 
these the Poet finds Mohammed, Piero da Medicina, Curio, Mosca, and Bertrand 
de .Born. 
W HO, e'en in words unfetter'd, might at full 
Tell of the wounds and blood that now I saw, 
Though he repeated oft the tale ? No tongue 
So vast a theme could equal, speech and thought 
Both impotent alike. If in one band 
Collected, stood the people all, who e'er 
Pour'd on Apulia's happy soil their blood, 
Slain by the Trojans, and in that long war,l 
When of the rings the measured booty made 
A pile so high, as Rome's historian writes 
Who errs not; with the multitude, that felt 
The griding force of Guiscard's Norman steel,2 
1 The war of Hannibal in Italy. 
2 Robert Guiscard, conqueror of Naples, died I I 10. See Paradise, Canto xviii. 



CANTO XXVIII 


HELL 


lIS 


And those the rest, 3 whose bones are gather'd yet 
At Ceperano, there where treachery 
Branded the Apulian name, or where beyond 
Thy walls, 0 Tagliacozzo; without arms 
The old Alardo conquer'd; and his limbs 
One were to show transpierced, another his 
Clean lopt away; a spectacle like this 
Were but a thing of naught, to the hideous sight 
Of the ninth chasm. A rundlet, that hath lost 
Its middle or side stave, gapes not so wide 
As one I mark'd, torn from the chin throughout 
Down to the hinder passage: 'twixt the legs 
Dangling his entrails hung, the midriff lay 
Open to view, and wretched ventricle, 
That turns the englutted aliment to dross. 
Whilst eagerly I fix on him my gaze, 
He eyed me, with his hands laid his breast bare, 
And cried, "Now mark how I do rip me: 101 
How is Mohammed mangled: before me 
Walks Ali 5 weeping, from the chin his face 
Cleft to the forelock; and the others all, 
Whom here thou seest, while they lived, did sow 
Scandal and schism, and therefore thus are rent. 
A fiend is here behind, who with his sword 
Hacks us thus cruelly, slivering again 
Each of this ream, when we have compast round 
The dismal way; for first our gashes close 
Ere we repass before him. But, say who 
Art thou, that standest musing on the rock, 
Haply so lingering to delay the pain 
Sentenced upon thy crimes." "Him death not yet"ø 
My guide rejoin'd, "hath overta'en, nor sin 
Conducts to torment; but, that he may make 
Full trial of your state, I who am dead 
Must through the depths of Hell, from orb to orb, 
Conduct him. Trust my words; for they are true." 


:3 The army of Manfredi, which, 
through the treachery of the Apulian 
troops, was overcome by Charles of Anjou 
in 1265. See the Purgatory, Canto iii. 
4"0 Tagliacozzo." He alludes to the 


victory which Charles gained over Con- 
radino, by the sage advice of the Sieur 
de Valeri, in 1268. 
5 The disciple of Mohammed. 



116 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO X
VIII 


More than a hundred spirits, \vhen that they heard, 
Stood in the foss to mark me through amaze 
Forgetful of their pangs. "Thou, who perchance 
Shalt shortly view the sun, this warning thou 
Bear to Dolcino: 6 bid him, if he wish not 
Here soon to follow me, that with good store 
Of food he arm him, lest imprisoning snows 
Yield him a victim to Novara's power; 
No easy conquest else": with foot upraised 
For stepping, spake Mohammed, on the ground 
Then fix'd it to depart. Another shade, 
Pierced in the throat, his nostrils mutilate 
E'en from beneath the eyebrows, and one ear 
Lopt off, who, with the rest, through wonder stood 
Gazing, before the rest advanced, and bared 
His wind-pipe, that without was all o'ersmear'd 
With crimson stain. "0 thou!" said he, "whom sin 
Condemns not, and whom erst (unless too near 
Resemblance do deceive me) I aloft 
Have seen on Latian ground, call thou to mind 
Piero of Medicina, 7 if again 
Returning, thou behold'st the pleasant lands 
That from Vercelli slopes to Marcabò; 
And there instruct the twain,9 whom Fano boasts 
Her worthiest sons, Guido and Angelo, 
6 "Dolcinoo" In 1305, a friar, called ure of food and the severity of the snows, 
Dolcino, who belonged to no regular he was taken by the people of Novara, 
order, contrived to raise in Novara, in and burnt, with Margarita, his com- 
Lombardy, a large company of the meaner panion, and many others, whom he had 
sort of people, declaring himself to be a seduced. 
true apostle of Christ and promulgating 7 "Mcdicina." A place in the territory 
a community of property and of wives, of Bologna. Piero fomented dissensions 
with many other such heretical doctrines. among the inhabitants of that city, and 
He blamed the Pope, cardinals, and other among the leaders of the neighboring 
prelates of the holy Church, for not ob- states. 
serving their duty, nor leading the angelic 8 Lombardy. 
life, and affirmed that he ought to be 9 "The twain." Guido del Cassero and 
pope. He was followed by more tha:t Angiolello da Cagnano, two of the worth- 
three thousand men and women, who iest and most distinguished citizens of 
lived promiscuously on the mountains to- Fano, were invited by Malatestino da 
gether, like beasts, and, when they Rimini to an entertainment, on pretence 
wanted provisions, supplied themselves by that he had some important business to 
depredation and rapine. After two years, transact with them; and, according to in- 
many were struck with compunction at structions given by him, they were 
the dissolute life they led, and his sect drowned in their passage near Cattolica, 
was much diminished; and, through fail- between Rimini and Fano. 



CANTO XXVIII 


HELL 


117 


That if 'tis given us here to scan aright 
The future, they out of life's tenement 
Shall be cast forth, and whelm'd under the waves 
Near to Cattolica, through perfidy 
Of a fell tyrant. 'Twixt the Cyprian isle 
And Balearic, ne'er hath Neptune seen 
An injury so foul, by pirates done, 
Or Argive crew of old. That one-eyed traitor 
(Whose realm there is a spirit here were fain 
His eye had still lack ' d sight of) them shall bring 
To conference with him, then so shape his end, 
That they shall need not 'gainst Focara's wind lO 
Offer up vow nor prayer." I answering thus: 
"Declare, as thou dost wish that I above 
May carry tidings of thee, who is he, 
In whom that sight doth wake such sad remembrance." 
Forthwith he laid his hand on the cheek-bone 
Of one, his fellow-spirit, and his jaws 
Expanding, cried: "Lo! this is he I wot of: 
He speaks not for himself: the outcast this, 
Who overwhelm'd the doubt in Cæsar's mind,!1 
Affirming that delay to men prepared 
Was ever harmful." Oh! how terrified 
Methought was Curio, from whose throat was cut 
The tongue, which spake that hardy word. Then one, 
Maim'd of each hand, uplifted in the gloom 
The bleeding stumps, that they with gory spots 
Sullied his face, and cried: "Remember thee 
Of Mosca 12 too; I who, alas! exclaim'd, 


10 "Focara's wind:' Focara is a moun- 
tain, from which a wind blows that is 
peculiarly dangerous to the navigators of 
that coast. 
11 liThe doubt in Cæsar's mind." Curio, 
whose speech (according to Lucan) de- 
termined Julius Cæsar to proceed when he 
had arrived at Rimini (the ancient Ari- 
minum), and doubted whether he should 
prosecute the civil war. 
12 I1 Mosca." Buondelmonte was en- 
gaged to marry a lady of the Amidei 
family, but broke his promise, and united 
himself to one of the Donati. This was 
so much resented by the former, that a 


meeting of themselves and their kinsmen 
was held, to consider of the best means 
of revenging the insult. Mosca degli 
Uberti, or de' Lamberti, persuaded them 
to resolve on the assassination of Buon- 
delmonte, exclaiming to them, lithe thing 
once done, there is an end." This counsel 
and its effects were the source of many 
terrible calamities to the State of Florence. 
IIThis murder," says G. Villani, lib. v. 
cap. xxxviii, IIwas the cause and begin. 
ning of the accursed Guelf and Ghibelline 
parties in Florence." It happened in 1215. 
See the Paradise, Canto xvi. 139. 



TI8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVIII 


'The deed once done, there is an end,' that proved 
A seed of sorrow to the Tuscan race." 
I added: "A y, and death to thine own tribe." 
Whence, heaping woe on woe, he hurried off, 
As one grief-stung to madness. But I there 
Still linger' d to behold the troop, and saw 
Thing, such as I may fear without more proof 
To tell of, but that conscience makes me firm, 
The boon companion, who her strong breastplate 
Buckles on him, that feels no guilt within, 
And bids him on and fear not. Without doubt 
I saw, and yet it seems to pass before me, 
A headless trunk, that even as the rest 
Of the sad flock paced onward. By the hair 
It bore the sever'd member, lantern-wise 
Pendent in hand, which look'd at us, and said, 
"Woe's me!" The spirit lighted thus himself; 
And two there were in one, and one in two. 
How that may be, he knows who ordereth so. 
When at the bridge's foot direct he stood, 
His arm aloft he rear'd, thrusting the head 
Full in our view, that nearer we might hear 
The words, which thus it utter'd: "Now behold 
This grievous torment, thou, who breathing go'st 
To spy the dead: behold, if any else 
Be terrible as this. And, that on earth 
Thou mayst bear tidings of me, know that I 
Am Bertrand,13 he of Born, who gave King John 
The counsel mischievous. Father and son 
I set at mutual war. For Absalom 
And David more did not Ahitophel, 
Spurring them on maliciously to strife. 
For parting those so closely knit, my brain 
Parted, alas! I carry from its source, 
That in this trunk inhabits. Thus the law 
Of retribution fiercely works in me." 


13 "Bertrand." Bertrand de Born, 
Vicomte de Hautcfort, near Perigueux 
in Guienne, who incited John to rebel 


against his father, Henry II of England. 
Bertrand holds a distinguished place 
among the Provençal poets. 



CANTO XXIX 


HELL 


119 


CANTO XXIX 


ARGUMENT.-Dante, at the desire of Virgil, proceeds onward to the bridge that 
crosses the tenth gulf, from whence he hears the cries of the alchemists and forgers, 
who are tormented therein; but not being able to discern anything on account of the 
darkness, they descend the rock, that bounds this, the last of the compartments in 
which the eighth circle is divided, and then behold the spirits who are afflicted by 
divers plagues and diseases. Two of them, namely, Grifolino of Arezzo, and Capocchio 
of Siena, are introduced speaking. 


S O were mine eyes inebriate with the view 
Of the vast multitude, whom various wounds 
Disfigured, that they long'd to stay and weep. 
But Virgil roused me: "What yet gazest on? 
Wherefore doth fasten yet thy sight below 
Among the maim'd and miserable shades? 
Thou hast not shown in any chasm beside 
This weakness. Know, if thou wouldst number them, 
That two and twenty miles the valley winds 
Its circuit, and already is the moon 
Beneath our feet: the time permitted now 
Is short; and more, not seen, remains to see." 
"If thou," I straight replied, "hadst weigh'd the cause, 
For which I look'd, thou hadst perchance excused 
The tarrying still." My leader part pursued 
His way, the while I follow'd, answering him, 
And adding thus: "Within that cave I deem, 
Whereon so fixedly I held my ken, 
There is a spirit dwells, one of my blood, 
Wailing the crime that costs him now so dear." 
Then spake my master: "Let thy soul no more 
Afflict itself for him. Direct elsewhere 
Its thought, and leave him. At the bridge's foot 
I mark'd how he did point with menacing look 
At thee, and heard him by the others named 
Geri of Bello. l Thou so wholly then 
Wert busied with his spirit, who once ruled 
The towers of Hautefort, that thou lookedst not 
That way, ere he was gone." "0 guide beloved! 
1 cCGeri of Bello.'" A kinsman of the was more impartial in the allotment of 
Poet's, who was murdered by one of the his punishments than has generally been 
Sacchetti family. His being placed here, supposed. 
may be considered as a proof that Dante 



120 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIX 


His violent death yet unavenged," said I, 
"By any, who are partners in his shame, 
Made him contemptuous; therefore, as I think, 
He pass'd me speechless by; and, doing so, 
Hath made me more compassionate his fate." 
So we discoursed to where the rock first show'd 
The other valley, had more light been there, 
E'en to the lowest depth. Soon as we came 
O'er the last cloister in the dismal rounds 
Of Malebolge, and the brotherhood 
Were to our view exposed, then many a dart 
Of sore lament assail' d me, headed all 
With points of thrilling pity, that I closed 
Both ears against the volley with mine hands. 
As were the torment, if each lazar-house 
Of Valdichiana,2 in the sultry time 
'Twixt July and September, with the isle 
Sardinia and Maremma's pestilent fen,3 
Had heap'd their maladies all in one foss 
Together; such was here the torment: dire 
The stench, as issuing streams from fester'd limbs. 
We on the utmost shore of the long rock 
Descended still to leftward. Then my sight 
Was livelier to explore the depth, wherein 
The minister of the most mighty Lord, 
All-searching Justice, dooms to punishment 
The forgers noted on her dread record. 
More rueful was it not methinks to see 
The nation in Ægina 4 droop, what time 
Each living thing, e'en to the little \vorm, 
All fell, so full of malice \vas the air 
(And afterward, as bards of yore ha \Te told, 
The ancient people were restored anew 
From seed of emmets), than was here to see 


2 The valley through which passes the 
river Chiana, bounded by Arezzo, Cor- 
tona, Montepulciano, and Chiusi. In the 
autumn it was formerly rendered un- 
wholesome by the stagnation of the water, 
but has since been drained by the Em- 
peror Leopold II. The Chiana is men- 


tioned as a remarkably sluggish stream, 
in the Paradise, Canto xiii. 2 I. 
3 See note to Canto xxv, v. 18. 
4 uIn Ægina." He alludes to the fable 
of the ants changed into Myrmidons.- 
Ovid, 1[et. lib. vü. 



CANTO XXIX 


HELL 
The spirits, that languish'd through the murky vale, 
Up-piled on many a stack. Confused they lay, 
One o'er the belly, o'er the shoulders one 
Roll'd of another; sideling crawl'd a third 
Along the dismal pathway. Step by step 
We journey'd on, in silence looking round, 
And listening those diseased, who strove in vain 
To lift their forms. Then two I mark'd, that sat 
Propt ' gainst each other, as two brazen pans 
Set to retain the heat. From head to foot, 
A tetter bark'd them round. Nor saw I e'er 
Groom currying so fast, for whom his lord 
Impatient waited, or himself perchance 
Tired with long watching, as of these each one 
Plied quickly his keen nails, through furiousness 
Of ne'er abated pruriency. The crust 
Came dra'wn from underneath, in flakes, like scales 
Scraped from the bream, or fish of broader mail. 
"0 thou I who with thy fingers rendest off 
Thy coat of proof," thus spake my guide to one, 
"And sOlnetimes makest tearing pincers of them, 
Tell me if any born of Latian land 
Be among these within: so may thy nails 
Serve thee for everlasting to this toil." 
"Both are of Latium," weeping he replied, 
"Whom tortured thus thou seest: but who art thou 
That hast inquired of us?" To whom my guide: 
"One that descend with this man, who yet lives, 
From rock to rock, and show him Hell's abyss." 
Then started they asunder, and each turn'd 
Trembling toward us, with the rest, whose ear 
Those words redounding struck. To me my liege 
Address'd him: "Speak to them whate'er thou list." 
And I therewith began: "So may no time 
Filch your remembrance from the thoughts of men 
In the upper world, but after many suns 
Survive it, as ye tell me, who ye are, 
And of what race ye come. Your punishment, 
Unseemly and disgustful in its kind, 
Deter you not from opening thus much to me." 


121 



122 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIX 


"Arezzo was my dwelling," 5 answer'd one, 
"And me Albero of Siena brought 
To die by fire: but that, for which I died, 
Leads me not here. True is, in sport I told him, 
That I had learn'd to wing my flight in air; 
And he, admiring much, as he was void 
Of \visdom, will' d me to declare to him 
, The secret of mine art: and only hence, 
Because I made him not a Dædalus, 
Prevail'd on one supposed his sire to burn me. 
But Minos to this chasm, last of the ten, 
For that I practised alchemy on earth, 
Has doom'd me. Him no subterfuge eludes." 
Then to the bard I spake : "Was ever race 
Light as Siena's?6 Sure not France herself 
Can show a tribe so frivolous and vain." 
The other leprous spirit heard my words, 
And thus return'd: "Be Stricca 7 from this charge 
Exempted, he who kne\v so temperately 
To layout fortune's gifts; and Niccolo, 
Who first the spice's costly luxury 
Discover'd in that garden,s where such seed 
Roots deepest in the soil; and be that troop 
Exempted, \vith whom Caccia of Asciano 
Lavish'd his vineyards and wide-spreading woods, 
And his rare wisdom Abbagliato sho\v'd 
A spectacle for all. That thou mayst know 
Who seconds thee against the Sienese 
Thus gladly, bend this way thy sharpen'd sight, 
That \vell my face may answer to thy ken; 
So shalt thou see I am Capocchio's ghost,9 
Who forged transmuted metals by the power 
5 Grifolino of Arezzo, who promised longed to a company of prodigal and 
Albero, son of the Bishop of Siena, that luxurious youth in Siena, called the 
he would teach him the art of flying; II brigata god"eccia." Niccolo was the in- 
and, because he did not keep his promise, ventor of a new manner of using cloves 
Albero prevailed on his father to have in cookery, and which was termed the 
him burnt for a necromancer. #'costuma l.icca." 
6 The same imputation is aga
!? cast on : "In that .gardcn.
' Siena. . . 
the Sienese, Purgatory, Canto Xl11, 141. CapocchlO of SIena who IS saId to 
7 This is said ironically. Stricca, Nic- have been a fellow-student of Dante's, 
colo Salimbeni, Caccia of Asciano, and in natural philosophy. 
Abbagliato, or Meo de' Folcacchieri, be- 



CANTO XXX 


HELL 


12 3 


Of alchemy; and if I scan thee right, 
Thou needs must well remember how I aped 
Creative nature by my subtle art." 


CANTO XXX 


ARGUMENT.-In the same gulf, other kinds of impostors, as those who have counter- 
feited the persons of others, or debased the current coin, or deceived by speech under 
false pretences, are described as suffering various diseases. Sinon of Troy and Adamo 
of Brescia mutually reproach each other with their several impostures. 


W HAT time resentment burn'd in Juno's breast 
F rom Semele against the Theban blood, 
As more than once in dire mischance was rued; 
Such fatal frenzy seized on Athamas, 
That he his spouse beholding with a babe 
Laden on either arm, "Spread out," he cried, 
"The meshes, that I take the lioness 
And the young lions at the pass:" then forth 
Stretch'd he his merciless talons, grasping one, 
One helpless innocent, Learchus named, 
Whom swinging down he dash'd upon a rock; 
And with her other burden, self-destroy'd, 
The hapless mother plunged. And when the pride 
Of all presuming Troy fell from its height, 
By fortune overwhelm'd, and the old king 
With his realm perish'd; then did Hecuba, 
A wretch forlorn and captive, when she saw 
Polyxena first slaughter'd, and her son, 
Her Polydorus, on the wild sea-beach 
Next met the mourner's view, then reft of sense 
Did she run barking even as a dog; 
Such mighty power had grief to wrench her soul. 
But ne'er the Furies, or of Thebes, or Troy, 
With such fell cruelty were seen, their goads 
Infixing in the limbs of man or beast, 
As now t\VO pale and naked ghosts I saw, 
That gnarling wildly scamper'd, like the swine 
Excluded from his stye. One reach'd Capocchio, 
And in the neck-joint sticking deep his fangs, 



12 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXX 


Dragg'd him, that, o'er the solid pavement rubb'd 
His belly stretch'd out prone. The other shape, 
He of Arezzo, there left trembling, spake: 
"That sprite of air is Schicchi;l in like mood 
Of random mischief vents he still his spite." 
To \vhom I answering: "Oh! as thou dost hope 
The other may not flesh its jaws on thee, 
Be patient to inform us, who it is, 
Ere it speed hence."-"That is the ancient soul 
Of wretched Myrrha," he replied, "who burn'd 
With most unholy flame for her own sire, 
And a false shape assuming, so perform'd 
The deed of sin; e'en as the other there, 
That onward passes, dared to counterfeit 
Donati's features, to feign'd testament 
The seal affixing, that himself might gain, 
For his own share, the lady of the herd." 
When vanish'd the two furious shades, on whom 
Mine eye was held, I turn'd it back to view 
The other cursed spirits. One I saw 
In fashion like a lute, had but the groin 
Been sever'd where it meets the forked part. 
Swoln dropsy, disproportioning the limbs 
With ill-converted moisture, that the paunch 
Suits not the visage, open'd wide his lips, 
Gasping as in the hectic man for drought, 
One toward the chin, the other upward curl'd. 
"0 yet who in this world of misery, 
Wherefore I know not, are exempt from pain," 
Thus he began, "attentively regard 
Adamo's woe. 2 When living, full supply 
Ne'er lack'd me of what most I coveted; 
One drop of water no\v, alas! I crave. 
The rills, that glitter down the grassy slopes 
1 Gianni Schicchi, of the family of traordinary value, here called "the lady 
Cava1canti, possessed such a faculty of of the herd." 
molding his features to the resemblance 2 Adamo of Brescia, at the instigation 
of others, that he was employed by Simon of Guido, Alessandro, and their brother 
Donati to personate Buoso Donati, then Aghiunlfo, lords of Romena, counter- 
recently deceased, and to make a will, feited the coin of Florence; for which 
leaving Simon his heir; for which service crime he was burnt. 
he was remunerated with a mare of ex- 



CANTO XXX 


HELL 


12 5 


Of Casentino,3 making fresh and soft 
The banks whereby they glide to Arno's stream, 
Stand ever in my view; and not in vain; 
For more the pictured semblance dries me up, 
Much more than the disease, which makes the flesh 
Desert these shrivel' d cheeks. So from the place, 
Where I transgress'd, stern justice urging me, 
Takes means to quicken more my laboring sighs. 
There is Romena, where I falsified 
The metal with the Baptist's form imprest, 
For which on earth I left my body burnt. 
But if I here might see the sorrowing soul 
Of Guido, Alessandro, or their brother, 
For Branda's limpid spring 4 I would not change 
The welcome sight. One is e'en now within, 
If truly the mad spirits tell, that round 
Are wandering. But wherein besteads me that? 
My limbs are fetter' d. Were I but so light, 
That I each hundred years might move one inch, 
I had set forth already on this path, 
Seeking him out amidst the shapeless crew, 
Although eleven miles it wind, not less 
Than half of one across. They brought me down 
Among this tribe; induced by them, I stamp'd 
The Borens with three carats of alloy." 5 
"Who are that abject pair," I next inquired, 
"That closely bounding thee upon thy right 
Lie smoking, like a hand in winter steep'd 
In the chill stream?"-"When to this gulf I dropp'd," 
He answer'd, "here I found them; since that hour 
They have not turn'd, nor ever shall, I ween, 
Till time hath run his course. One is that dame, 
The false accuser 6 of the Hebrew youth; 
Sinon the other, that false Greek from Troy. 
Sharp fever drains the reeky moistness out, 
In such a cloud upstcam'd." When that he heard, 


3 Romena, a part of Casentino. 
4 A fountain at Siena. 

 The Boren wa
 a coin that oURht to 
have had twenty-four carats of pure ..-;old. 
Villani relates that it was first used at 


Florence in 1252, an era of great pros- 
perity for the r<;public; before which time 
their most valuable coinage was of silver. 
6 Potiphar's wife. 



126 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXX 


One, gall'd perchance to be so darkly named, 
With clench'd hand smote him on the braced paunch, 
That like a drum resounded: but forthwith 
Adamo smote him on the face, the bIo\\" 
Returning with his arm, that seem'd as hard. 
"Though my o'erweighty limbs have ta'en from me 
The power to move," said he, "I have an arm 
At liberty for such employ." To WhOlll 
\Vas answer'd: "When thou wentest to the fire, 
Thou hadst it not so ready at command; 
Then readier when it coin'd the impostor gold." 
And thus the dropsied: "Ay, now speak'st thou true: 
But there thou gavest not such true testimony, 
When thou wast question'd of the truth, at Troy." 
"If I spake false, thou falsely stamp'dst the coin," 
Said Sinon; "I am here for but one fault, 
And thou for more than any imp beside." 
"Remember," he replied, "0 perjured one! 
The horse remember, that did teem with death; 
And all the world be witness to thy guilt." 
"To thine," return'd the Greek, "witness the thirst 
Whence thy tongue cracks, witness the fluid mound 
Rear'd by thy belly up before thine eyes, 
A mass corrupt." To whom the coiner thus: 
"Thy mouth gap
s wide as ever to let pass 
Its evil saying. Me if thirst assails, 
Yet I am stuft with moisture. Thou art parch'd: 
Pains rack thy head: no urging \vouldst thou need 
To make thee lap Narcissus' mirror up." 
I was all fix'd to listen, when my guide 
Admonish'd: "Now beware. A little more, 
And I do quarrel with thee." I perceived 
How angrily he spake, and toward him turn'd 
With shame so poignant, as remember'd yet 
Confounds me. As a man that dreams of harm 
Befallen him, dreaming \vishes it a dream, 
And that which is, desires as if it were not; 
Such then was I, who, \vanting power to speak, 
Wish'd to excuse myself, and all the while 
Excused me, though unweeting that I did. 



CANTO XXXI 


HELL 


12 7 


"More grievous fault than thine has been, less shame," 
My master cried, "might expiate. Therefore cast 
All sorrow from thy soul; and if again 
Chance bring thee, where like conference is held, 
Think I am ever at thy side. To hear 
Such wrangling is a joy for vulgar minds." 


CANTO XXXI 


ARGUMENT.-The Poets, following the sound of a loud born, are led by it to the 
ninth circle, in which there are four rounds, one enclosed within the other, and 
containing as many sorts of traitors; but the present Canto shows only that the circle 
is encompassed with Giants, one of whom. Antæus, takes them both in his arms and 
places them at the bottom of the circle. 
T HE very tongue, whose keen reproof before 
Had wounded me, that either cheek was stain'd, 
Now minister'd my cure. So have I heard, 
Achilles' and his father's javelin caused 
Pain first, and then the boon of health restored. 
Turning our back upon the vale of woe, 
We cross'd the encircled mound in silence. There 
Was less than day and less than night, that far 
Mine eye advanced not: but I heard a horn 
Sounded so loud, the peal it rang had made 
The thunder feeble. Following its course 
The adverse way, my strained eyes were bent 
On that one spot. So terrible a blast 
Orlando 1 blew not, when that dismal rout 
0' erthrew the host of Charlemain, and quench'd 
His saintly warfare. Thitherward not long 
My head was raised, when many a lofty tower 
Methought I spied. "Master ," said I, "what land 
Is this?" He answer'd straight: "Too long a space 
Of intervening darkness has thine eye 
To traverse: thou hast therefore widely err'd 
In thy imagining. Thither arrived 
1 "When Charlemain with all his peer- and which, as Turpin and the Islandic 
age fell at Fontarabia." bards report, was endued with magical 
Milton, Paradise Lost, b. i. 586. See power, and might be heard at the dis- 
Warton's Hist. of Eng. Poetry, vol. i. sect. tance of twenty miles." See the Paradise, 
iii. p. 132. "This is the horn which Canto xviii. 
Orlando won from the giant Jatmund, 



128 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXI 


Thou 'well shalt see, how distance can delude 
The sense. A little therefore urge thee on." 
Then tenderly he caught me by the hand; 
"Yet know," said he, "ere farther we advance, 
That it less strange may seem, these are not towers, 
But giants. In the pit they stand immersed, 
Each from his navel downward, round the bank. h 
As when a fog disperseth gradually, 
Our vision traces what the mist involves 
Condensed in air; so piercing through the gross 
And gloomy atmosphere, as more and more 
We near'd toward the brink, mine error fled 
And fear came o'er me. As with circling round 
Of turrets, Montereggion 2 crowns his walls; 
E'en thus the shore, encon1passing the abyss, 
Was turreted with giants, half their length 
Uprearing, horrible, whom Jove from Heaven 
Yet threatens, when his muttering thunder rolls. 
Of one already I descried the face, 
Shoulders and breast, and of the belly huge 
Great part, and both arms down along his ribs. 
All-teeming Nature, when her plastic hand 
Left framing of these monsters, did display 
Past doubt her wisdom, taking from mad War 
Such slaves to do his bidding; and if she 
Repent her not of the elephant and whale, 
Who ponders well confesses her therein 
Wiser and more discreet; for when brute force 
And evil will are back'd with subtlety, 
Resistance none avails. His visage seem'd 
In length and bulk, as doth the pine 3 that tops 
Saint Peter's Roman fane; and the other bones 
Of like proportion, so that from above 
The bank, which girdled him below, such height 
Arose his stature, that three Friezelanders 


2 A C2stle near Siena. 
3 "The pine." "The large pine of 
bronze, which once ornamented the top 
of the mole of Adrian, afterwards deco- 
rated the top of the belfry of St. Peter; 

nd having (according to Buti) been 


thrown down by lightning, it was trans- 
ferred to the place where it now is, in the 
Pope's garden, by the side of the great 
corridor of Belvedere. In the time of our 
Poet, the pine was then either on the 
belfry or on the steps of St. Peter's." 



CANTO XXXI 


HELL 


12 9 


Had striven in vain to reach but to his hair. 
Full thirty ample palms was he exposed 
Downward from whence a man his garment loops. 
"Raphel 4 baï ameth, sabì almì:" 
So shouted his fierce lips, which sweeter hymns 
Became not; and my guide address'd him thus: 
"0 senseless spirit! let thy horn for thee 
Interpret: therewith vent thy rage, if rage 
Or other passion wring thee. Search thy neck, 
There shalt thou find the belt that binds it on. 
Spirit confused! 10, on thy mighty breast 
Where hangs the baldrick!" Then to me he spake: 
"He doth accuse himself. Nimrod is this, 
Through whose ill counsel in the world no more 
One tongue prevails. But pass we on, nor waste 
Our words; for so each language is to him, 
As his to others, understood by none." 
Then to the leftward turning sped we forth, 
And at a sling's throw found another shade 
Far fiercer and more huge. I cannot say 
What master hand had girt him; but he held 
Behind the right arm fetter'd, and before, 
The other, with a chain, that fasten'd him 
From the neck do\vn; and five times round his form 
Apparent met the wreathed links. "This proud one 
Would of his strength against almighty Jove 
Make trial," said my guide: "whence he is thus 
Requited: Ephialtes him they call. 
Great was his prowess, when the giants brought 
Fear on the gods: those arms, which then he plied, 
Now moves he never." Forthwith I return'd: 
"Fain would I, if 't were possible, mine eyes, 
Of Briareus immeasurable, gain'd 
Experience next." He answered: "Thou shalt see 
Not far from hence Antæus, who both speaks 
And is unfetter'd, who shall place us there 
Where guilt is at its depth. Far onward stands 
Whom thou wouldst fain behold, in chains, and made 


.. Unmeaning sounds, meant, it is supposed, to express the confusion at the building 
of Babel. 



13 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXI 


. 


Like to this spirit, save that in his looks 
More fell he seems." By violent earthquake rock'd 
Ne'er shook a tower, so reeling to its base, 
As Ephialtes. More than ever then 
I dreaded death; nor than the terror more 
Had needed, if I had not seen the cords 
That held him fast. We, straightway journeying on, 
Came to Antæus, who, five ells complete 
Without the head, forth issued from the cave. 
"0 thou, who in the fortunate vale,5 that made 
Great Scipio heir of glory, when his sword 
Drove back the troop of Hannibal in flight, 
Who thence of old didst carry for thy spoil 
An hundred lions; and if thou hadst fought 
In the high conflict on thy brethren's side, 
Seems as men yet believed, that through thine arm 
The sons of earth had conquer'd; now vouchsafe 
To place us down beneath, where numbing cold 
Locks up Cocytus. Force not that we crave 
Or Tityus' help or Typhon's. Here is one 
Can give what in this realm ye covet. Stoop 
Therefore, nor scornfully distort thy lip. 
He in the upper world can yet bestow 
Renown on thee; for he doth live, and looks 
F or life yet longer, if before the time 
Grace call him not unto herself." Thus spake 
The teacher. He in haste forth stretch'd his hands, 
And caught my guide. Alcides 6 whilom felt 
That grapple, straiten'd sore. Soon as my guide 
Had felt it, he bespake me thus: "This way, 
That I may clasp thee;" then so caught me up, 
That we were both one burden. As appears 
The tower of Carisenda, 7 from beneath 
Where it doth lean, if chance a passing cloud 
So sail across, that opposite it hangs; 
Such then Antæus seem'd, as at mine ease 
I mark'd him stooping. I were fain at times 
5 The country near Carthage. as proof of God's judgment displayed in 
6 The combat between Hercules (AI- the duel, according to the singular super- 
cides) and Antæus is adduced by the poet stition of those times. 
in his treatise "De Monarchiâ," lib. ii., 7 The leaning tower at Bologna. 



CANTO XXXII 


HELL 


13 1 


To have past another way. Yet in the abyss, 
That Lucifer with Judas low ingulfs, 
Lightly he placed us; nor, there leaning, stay'd; 
But rose, as in a bark the stately mast. 


CANTO XXXII 


ARGUMENT.- This Canto treats of the first, and, in part, of the second of those 
rounds, into which the ninth and last, or frozen circle, is divided. In the former, 
called Caïna, Dante finds Camiccione de' Pazzi, who gives him an account of other 
sinners who are there punished; and in the next, named Antenora, he hears in like 
manner from Bocca degli Abbati who his fellow-sufferers are. 


C OUL
 I command rough rhymes and hoarse, to 
sutt 
That hole of sorrow o'er which every rock 
His firm abutment rears, then might the vein 
Of fancy rise full springing: but not mine 
Such measures, and with faltering awe I touch 
The mighty theme; for to describe the depth 
Of all the universe, is no emprise 
To jest with, and demands a tongue not used 
To infant babbling. But let them assist 
My song, the tuneful maidens, by whose aid 
Amphion wall'd in Thebes; so with the truth 
My spe
ch shall best accord. Oh ill-starr'd folk, 
Beyond all others wretched! who abide 
In such a mansion, as scarce thought finds words 
To speak of, better had ye here on earth 
Been flocks, or mountain goats. As down we stood 
In the dark pit beneath the giants' feet, 
But lower far than they, and I did gaze 
Still on the lofty battlement, a voice 
Bespake me thus: "Look how thou walkest. Take 
Good heed, thy soles do tread not on the heads 
Of thy poor brethren." Thereupon I turn'd, 
And saw before and underneath my feet 
A lake, whose frozen surface liker seem'd 
To glass than water . Not so thick a veil 
In winter e'er hath Austrian Danube spread 
O'er his still course, nor Tanais far remote 
Under the chilling sky. Roll'd o'er that mass 



13 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXII 


Had T abernich or Pietrapana 1 fallen, 
Not e'en its rim had creak'd. As peeps the frog 
Croaking above the wave, what time in dreams 
The village gleaner oft pursues her toil, 
So, to where modest shame appears, thus low 
Blue pinch'd and shrined in ice the spirits stood, 
Moving their teeth in shrill note like the stork. 
His face each downward held; their mouth the cold, 
Their eyes express'd the dolour of their heart. 
A space I look'd around, then at my feet 
Saw two so strictly join'd, that of their head 
The very hairs were mingled. "Tell me ye, 
Whose bosoms thus together press," said I, 
"Who are ye?" At that sound their necks they bent; 
And when their looks were lifted up to me, 
Straightway their eyes, before all moist within, 
Distill'd upon their lips, and the frost bound 
The tears betwixt those orbs, and held them there. 
Plank unto plank hath never cramp closed up 
So stoutly. Whence, like two enraged goats, 
They clash'd together: them such fury seized. 
And one, from whom the cold both ears had reft, 
Exclaim'd, still looking downward: "Why on us 
Dost speculate so long? If thou wouldst know 
Who are these two,2 the valley, whence his wave 
Bisenzio slopes, did for its master own 
Their sire Alberto, and next him themselves. 
They from one body issued: and throughout 
CaÏna thou mayst search, nor find a shade 
More worthy in congealment to be fix'd; 
Not him,3 whose breast and shadow Arthur's hand 
At that one blo\v dissever'd; not Focaccia,4 
1 uTabernich or Pietrapana:. The one romance of Lancelot of the Lake, Arthur, 
a mountain in Sclavonia, the other in that having discovered the traitorous intentions 
tract of country called the Garfagnana, of his son, pierces him throußh with bi! 
not far from Lucca. lance, so that the sunbeam passes through 
2 Alessandro and Napoleone, sons of the body. 
Alberto Alberti, who murdered each 4 FocaccÏa of Cancellieri (the Pistoian 
other. They were proprietors of the val- family), whose atrocious act of revenge 
ley of Falterona, where the Bisenzio rises, against his uncle is said to have given rise 
falling into the Arno six miles from to the parties, Bianchi and Neri, in tbe 
Florence. year J 300. 
3 Mordred, son of King Arthur. In the 



CANTO XXXII 


HELL 


133 


No, not this spirit, whose o'erjutting head 
Obstructs my onward view; he bore the name 
Of Mascheroni: 5 Tuscan if thou be, 
Well knowest who he was. And to cut short 
All further question, in my form behold 
\\That once was Camiccione. 6 I await 
Carlin0 7 here my kinsman, whose deep guilt 
Shall wash out mine." A thousand visages 
Then mark'd I, which the keen and eager cold 
Had shaped into a doggish grin; whence creeps 
A shivering horror o'er me, at the thought 
Of those frore shallows. While we journey'd on 
Toward the" middle, at whose point unites 
All heavy substance, and I trembling went 
Through that eternal chilness, I know not 
If will it were, or destiny, or chance, 
But, passing 'midst the heads, my foot did strike 
With violent blow against the face of one. 
"Wherefore dost bruise me?" weeping he exclaim'd; 
"Unless thy errand be some fresh revenge 
For Montaperto,8 wherefore troublest me?" 
I thus: "Instructor, now await me here, 
That I through him may rid me of my doubt: 
Thenceforth what haste thou wilt." The teacher paused 
And to that shade I spake, who bitterly 
Still cursed me in his wrath. "What art thou, speak, 
That railest thus on others?" He replied: 
"Now who art thou, that smiting others' cheeks, 
Through Antenora 9 roamest, with such force 
As were past sufferance, wert thou living still?" 
"And I am living, to thy joy perchance," 
Was my reply, "if fame be dear to thee, 
5 Sassol Mascheroni, a Florentine, who 8 The defeat of the Guelfi at Monta- 
murdered his uncle. perto through the treachery of Bocca degli 
6 Camiccione de' Pazzi of Valdarno, by Abbati, who, durin
 the en
agement, cut 
whom his kinsman Ubertino was treach- off the hand of Giacopo del Vacca de' 
erously put to death. Pazzi, the Florentine standard-bearer. 
7 "Carlino." One of the same family. 9 "So ca1led from Antenor, who, ac- 
He betrayed the Castel di Piano Travigne, cording to Dictys Cretensis (de Bello Troj. 
in Valdarno, to the Florentines, after the lib. v.) and Dares Phrygius (De Excidio 
refugees of the Bianca and Ghibelline Trojæ) betrayed Troy his country." Lom- 
party had defended it against a siege for bardi. 
twenty-nine days, in the summer of J 302. 



134 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXII 


That with the rest I may thy name enrol." 
"The contrary of what I covet most," 
Said he, "thou tender'st: hence! nor vex me more. 
III knowest thou to flatter in this vale." 
Then seizing on his hinder scalp I cried: 
"Name thee, or not a hair shall tarry here." 
"Rend all away," he answer'd, "yet for that 
I will not tell, nor show thee, who I am, 
Though at my head thou pluck a thousand times." 
Now I had grasp'd his tresses, and stript off 
More than one tuft, he barking, with his eyes 
Drawn in and downward, when another cried, 
"What ails thee, Bocca? Sound not loud enough 
Thy chattering teeth, but thou must bark outright? 
What devil wrings thee?"-"Now," said I, "be dumb, 
Accursed traitor! To thy shame, of thee 
True tidings will I bear."-"Off!" he replied; 
"Tell what thou list: but, as thou 'scape from hence, 
To speak of him whose tongue hath been so glib, 
Forget not: here he wails the Frenchman's gold. 
'Him of Duera,' 10 thou canst say, 'I mark'd, 
Where the starved sinners pine.' If thou be ask'd 
What other shade was with them, at thy side 
Is Beccaria,l1 whose red gorge distain'd 
The biting axe of Florence. Further on, 
If I misdeem not, Soldanieri 12 bides, 
With Ganellon,13 and Tribaldello,14 him 
Who oped Faenza when the people slept." 
We now had left him, passing on our way, 
When I beheld two spirits by the ice 
Pent in one hollow, that the head of one 


10 Buoso of Cremona, of the family of 
Duera, bribed by Guy de Montfort to 
leave a pass between Piedmont and 
Parma, with the defence of which he had 
been intrusted by the Ghibellines, open to 
the army of Charles of Anjou, A. D. 
1265, at which the people of Cremona 
were so enraged that they extirpated the 
whole family. G. Villani. 
11 Abbot of Vallombrosa, Pope's legate 
at Florence, beheaded for his intrigues 
with the Ghibellines. 


12 "Gianni Soldanieri," says Villani, 
lIist. lib. vii. c. xiv., "put himself at the 
head of the people, in the hopes of rising 
into power, not aware that the result 
would be mischief to the Ghibelline party, 
and his own ruin."-A. D. 1266. 
13 The betrayer of Charlemain, men- 
tioned by Archbishop Turpin. He is a 
type of treachery with the poets of th
 
Middle Ages. 
14 Tribaldello de' Manfredi, bribed to 
betray the city of Faenza, 1282. 



CANTO XXÀIII 


HELL 


135 


Was cowl unto the other; and as bread 
Is raven'd up through hunger, the uppermost 
Did so apply his fangs to the other's brain, 
Where the spine joins it. Not more furiously 
On Menalippus' temples Tydeus gnaw'd, 
Than on that skull and on its garbage he. 
"0 thou! who show'st so beastly sign of hate 
'Gainst him thou prey'st on, let me hear," said I, 
"The cause, on such condition, that if right 
Warrant thy grievance, knowing who ye are, 
And what the color of his sinning was, 
I may repay thee in the world above, 
If that, wherewith I speak, be moist so long." 


CANTO XXXIII 


ARGUMENT.-The Poet is told by Count Ugolino de' Gherardeschi of the cruel 
manner in which he and his children were famished in the tower at Pisa, by command 
of the Archbishop Ruggieri. He next discourses of the third round, called Ptolomea. 
wherein those are punished who have betrayed others under the semblance of kindness; 
and among these he finds the Friar Alberigo de' Manfredi, who tells him of one 
whose soul was already tormented in that place, though his body appeared still to 
be alive upon the earth, being yielded up to the governance of a fiend. 


H IS jaws uplifting from their fell repast, 
That sinner wiped them on the hairs 0' the head, 
Which he behind had mangled, then began: 
"Thy will obeying, I call up afresh 
Sorrow past cure; which, but to think of, wrings 
My heart, or ere I tell on 't. But if words, 
That I may utter, shall prove seed to bear 
Fruit of eternal infamy to him, 
The traitor whom I gnaw at, thou at once 
Shalt see me speak and weep. Who thou mayst be 
I know not, nor how here below art come: 
But Florentine thou seemest of a truth, 
When I do hear thee. Know, I was on earth 
Count U golino, 1 and the Archbishop he 
1 "Count Ugolino." - "In the year Judge Nino di Gallura de' Visconti; an- 
1288, in the month of July, Pisa was other, consisting of others of the same 
much divided by competitors for the faction, by the Count Ugolino de' Ghe- 
sovereignty; one party, composed of cer- rardeschi; and a third by the Archbishop 
tain of the Guelfi. being headed by the Ruggieri degli Ubaldini, with the Lan- 



13 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXIII 


Ruggieri. Why I neighbor him so close, 
Now list. That through effect of his ill thoughts 
In him my trust reposing, I was ta' en 
And after murder'd, need is not I tell. 
What therefore thou canst not have heard, that is, 
How cruel was the murder, shalt thou hear, 
And know if he have wrong'd me. A small grate 
Within that mew, which for my sake the name 
Of Famine bears, where others yet must pine, 
Already through its opening several moons 
Had shown me, when I slept the evil sleep 
That from the future tore the curtain off. 
This one, me thought, as master of the sport, 
Rode forth to chase the gaunt wolf, and his 
whelps, 
Unto the mountain 2 which forbids the sight 
Of Lucca to the Pisano With lean brachs 
Inquisitive and keen, before him ranged 


franchi, Sismondi, Gualandi, and other by the Pisans. The power of the Guelfi 
Ghibelline houses. The Count U golino, being so much diminished, the archbishop 
to effect his purpose, united with the arch- devised means to betray the Count U go- 
bishop and his party, and havin
 betrayed lino, and caused him to be suddenly 
Nino, his sister's son, they contrived that attacked in his palace by the fury of the 
he and his followers should either be people, whom he had exasperated, by 
driven out of Pisa, or their persons seized. telling them that Ugolino had betrayed 
Nino hearing this, and not seeing any Pisa, and given up their castles to the 
means of defending himself, retired to citizens of Florence and of Lucca. He 
Calci, his castle, and formed an alliance was immediately compelled to surrender; 
with the Florentines and the people of his bastard son and his grandson fell in 
Lucca, against the Pisans. The count, be- the assault; and two of his sons, with 
fore Nino was gone, in order to cover his their two sons also, were conveyed to 
treachery, when everythin
 was settled for prison.... In the following March, the 
his expulsion, quitted Pisa, and repaired Pisans, who had imprisoned the Count 
to a manor of his called Settimo; whence, Ugolino, with two of his sons and two of 
as soon as he was informed of Nino's de- his grandchildren, the offspring of his son 
parture, he returned to Pisa with great the Count Guelfo, in a tower on the 
rejoicing and festivity, and was elevated Piazza of the Anziani, caused the tower 
to the supreme power with every demon- to be locked, the key thrown into the 
stration of triumph and honor. But his Arno, and all food to be withheld from 
greatness was not of long continuance. It them. In a few days they died of hunger; 
pleased the Almighty that a total reverse but the Count first with loud cries de- 
of fortune should ensue, as a punishment dared his penitence, and yet neither priest 
for his acts of treachery and guilt; for he nor friar was allowed to shrive him. All 
was said to have poisoned the Count An- the five, when dead, were dra

ed out 
selmo da Capraia, his sister's son, on ac- of the prison, and meanly interred; and 
count of the envy and fear excited in his from thenceforward the tower was called 
mind by the high esteem in which the the Tower of Famine, and so shall ever 
gracious manners of Anselmo were held be." G. Villani, lib. vii. 
2 The mountain S. Giuliano between Pisa and Lucca. 



CANTO XXXIII 


HELL 


137 


Lanfranchi with Sismondi and Gualandi. 
After short course the father and the sons 
Seem'd tired and lagging, and methought I saw 
The sharp tusks gore their sides. When I awoke, 
Before the dawn, amid their sleep I heard 
My sons (for they were with me) weep and ask 
For bread. Right cruel art thou, if no pang 
Thou feel at thinking what my heart foretold; 
And if not now, why use thy tears to flow? 
Now had they waken'd; and the hour drew near 
When they were wont to bring us food; the mind 
Of each misgave him through his dream, and I 
Heard, at its outlet underneath, lock'd up 
The horrible tower: whence, uttering not a word, 
I look'd upon the visage of my sons. 
I wept not: so all stone I felt within. 
They wept: and one, my little Anselm, cried, 
'Thou lookest so! Father, what ails thee?' Yet 
I shed no tear, nor answer'd all that day 
Nor the next night, until another sun 
Came out upon the world. When a faint beam 
Had to our doleful prison made its way, 
And in four countenances I descried 
The image of my own, on either hand 
Through agony I bit; and they, who thought 
I did it through desire of feeding, rose 
0' the sudden, and cried, 'Father, \ve should grieve 
Far less if thou wouldst eat of us: thou gavest 
These weeds of miserable flesh we wear; 
And do thou strip them off from us again.' 
Then, not to make them sadder, I kept down 
My spirit in stillness. That day and the next 
\Ve all were silent. Ah, obdurate earth! 
Why open'dst not upon us? When we came 
To the fourth day, then Gaddo at my feet 
Outstretch'd did fling him, crying, 'Hast no help 
For me, my father!' There he died; and e'en 
Plainly as thou seest me, saw I the three 
Fall one by one 'twixt the fifth day and sixth: 
Whence I betook me, now grown blind, to grope 
Over them all, and for three days aloud 



13 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXIII 


Call'd on them \vho were dead. Then, fasting got 
The mastery of grief." Thus having spoke, 
Once more upon the wretched skull his teeth 
He fasten'd like a mastiff's 'gainst the bone, 
Firm and unyielding. 0 thou Pisa! shame 
Of all the people, \vho their dwelling make 
In that fair region, where the Italian voice 
Is heard; since that thy neighbors are so slack 
To punish, from their deep foundations rise 
Capraia and Gorgona,3 and dam up 
The mouth of Arno; that each soul in thee 
May perish in the waters. \Vhat if fame 
Reported that thy castles were betray'd 
By U golino, yet no right hadst thou 
To stretch his children on the rack. For them, 
Brigata, U guccione, and the pair 
Of gentle ones, of whom my song hath told, 
Their tender years, thou modern Thebes, did make 
U ncapable of guilt. Onward we pass'd, 
Where others, skarf'd in rugged folds of ice, 
Not on their feet were turn'd, but each reversed. 
There, very weeping suffers not to weep; 
For, at their eyes, grief, seeking passage, finds 
Impediment, and rolling inward turns 
For increase of sharp anguish: the first tears 
Hang cluster'd, and like crystal vizors show, 
Under the socket brimming all the cup. 
Now though the cold had from my face dislodged 
Each feeling, as 't were callous, yet me seem'd 
Some breath of wind I felt. "Whence cometh this," 
Said I, "my Master? Is not here below 
All vapor quench'd?"-"Thou shalt be speedily,': 
He answer'd, "where thine eyes shall tell thee whence, 
The cause descrying of this airy shower." 
Then cried out one, in the chill crust who mourn'd: 
"0 souls! so cruel, that the farthest post 
Hath been assign'd you, from this face remove 
The harden'd veil; that I may vent the grief 
Impregnate at my heart, some little space, 
3 Small islands near the mouth of the Arno. 



CANTO XXXIII 


HELL 


139 


Ere it congeal again." I thus replied: 
"Say who thou \vast, if thou wouldst have mine 
aid; 
And if I extricate thee not, far down 
As to the lowest ice may I descend." 
"The friar Alberigo," 4 answer'd he, 
"Am I, who from the evil garden pluck'd 
Its fruitage, and am here repaid, the date 
More luscious for my fig."-"Hah!" I exclaim'd, 
"Art thou, too, dead?" "How in the world aloft 
It fareth with my body," answer'd he, 
"I am right ignorant. Such privilege 
Hath Ptolomea,5 that oft-times the soul 
Drops hither, ere by Atropos divorced. 
And that thou mayst \vipe out more willingly 
The glazed tear-drops that o'erlay mine eyes, 
Know that the soul, that moment she betrays, 
As I did, yields her body to a fiend 
Who after moves and governs it at will, 
Till all its time be rounded: headlong she 
Falls to this cistern. And perchance above 
Doth yet appear the body of a ghost, 
Who here behind me winters. Him thou know'st, 
If thou but newly art arrived below. 
The years are many that have passed away, 
Since to this fastness Branca Doria 6 came." 
"Now," answer'd I, "methinks thou meekest me; 
For Branca Doria never yet hath died, 
But doth all natural functions of a man, 
Eats, drinks, and sleeps, and putteth raiment on." 


4 "The friar Alberigo." Alberigo de' 
Manfredi, of Faenza, one of the Frati 
Godenti (Joyous Friars), who having 
Quarrelled with some of his brotherhood, 
under pretence of wishing to be recon- 
ciled, invited them to a banquet, at the 
conclusion of which he called for the 
fruit, a signal for the assassins to rush in 
and despatch those whom he had marked 
for destruction. Hence, adds Landino, it 
is said proverbially of one who has been 
stabbed, that he had had some of the 
friar Alberigo's fruit. 


:; "Ptolomea." This circle is named 
Ptolomea from Ptolemy the son of Abu. 
bus, by whom Simon and his sons were 
murdered, at a great banquet he had 
made for them. See I Maccabees, ch. 
xvi. Or from Ptolemy, King of Egypt, 
the betrayer of Pompey the Great. 
6 "Branca Doria." The family of Doria 
was possessed of great influence in Genoa. 
Branca is said to have murdered his 
father-in-law, Michel Zanche. See Canto 
XXll. 



14 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXIV 


He thus: "Not yet unto that upper foss 
By th' evil talons guarded, where the pitch 
Tenacious boils, had Michel Zanche reach'd, 
When this one left a demon in his stead 
In his own body, and of one his kin, 
Who with him treachery wrought. But now put forth 
Thy hand, and ope mine eyes." loped them not. 
III manners were best courtesy to him. 
Ah Genoese! men perverse in every way 
With every foulness stain'd why from the earth 
Are ye not cancel'd? Such an one of yours 
I with Romagna's darkest spirir7 found, 
As, for his doings, even now in soul 
Is in Cocytus plunged, and yet doth seem 
In body still alive upon the earth. 


CANTO XXXIV 


MGUMENT.-In the fourth and last round of the ninth circle, those who have 
betrayed their benefactors are wholly covered with ice. And in the midst is Lucifer, 
at whose back Dante and Virgil ascend, till by a secret path they reach the surface of 
the other hemisphere of the earth, and once more obtain sight of the stars. 
" T HE banners of Hell's Monarch do come forth 
Toward us; therefore look," so spake my guide, 
"If thou discern him." As, when breathes a cloud 
Heavy and dense, or when the shades of night 
Fall on our hemisphere, seems view'd from far 
A windmill, which the blast stirs briskly round; 
Such was the fabric then methought I saw. 
To shield me from the \vind, forthwith I drew 
Behind my guide: no covert else was there. 
Now came I (and \vith fear I bid my strain 
Record the marvel) where the souls were all 
Whelm'd underneath, transparent, as through glass 
Pellucid the frail stem. Some prone were laid; 
Others stood upright, this upon the soles, 
That on his head, a third with face to feet 
Arch'd like a bow. When to the point we came, 
Whereat my guide was pleased that I should see 
1 The friar Alberigo. 



CANTO XXXIV 


HELL 


14 1 


The creature eminent in beauty once, 
He from before me stepp'd and made me pause. 
"Lo!" he exclaim'd, "lo! Dis; and lor the place, 
Where thou hast need to arm thy heart with strength." 
How frozen and how faint I then became, 
Ask me not, reader! for I write it not; 
Since words would fail to tell thee of my state. 
I was not dead nor living. Think thyself, 
If quick conception work in thee at all, 
How I did feel. That emperor, who sways 
The realm of sorrow, at mid breast from the ice 
Stood forth; and I in stature am more like 
A giant, than the giants are his arms. 
Mark now how great that whole must be, which suits 
With such a part. If he were beautiful 
As he is hideous now, and yet did dare 
To scowl upon his Maker, well from him 
Mayall our misery flow. Oh what a sight! 
How passing strange it seem'd, when I did spy 
Upon his head three faces: one in front 
Of hue vermilion, the other two with this 
Midway each shoulder join'd and at the crest; 
The right 'twixt wan and yellow seem'd; the left 
To look on, such as come from whence old Nile 
Stoops to the lowlands. Under each shot forth 
Two mighty wings, enormous as became 
A bird so vast. Sails never such I saw 
Outstretch'd on the wide sea. No plumes had they, 
But were in texture like a bat; and these 
He flapp'd i' th' air, that from him issued still 
Three winds, wherewith Cocytus to its depth 
Was frozen. At six eyes he wept: the tears 
Adown three chins distill'd with bloody foam. 
At every mouth his teeth a sinner champ'd, 
Bruised as with ponderous engine; so that three 
Were in this guise tormented. But far more 
Than from that gnawing, was the foremost pang'd 
By the fierce rending, whence oft-times the back 
Was stript of all its skin. "That upper spirit, 
Who hath \vorst punishment," so spake my guide, 



14 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXIV 


"Is Judas, he that hath his head within 
And plies the feet without. Of th' other two, 
Whose heads are under, from the murky jaw 
Who hangs, is Brutus: 1 101 how he doth writhe 
And speaks not. The other, Cassius, that appears 
So large of limb. But night now reascends; 
And it is time for parting. All is seen." 
I clipp'd him round the neck; for so he bade: 
And noting time and place, he, when the wings 
Enough were oped, caught fast the shaggy sides, 
And down from pile to pile descending stepp'd 
Between the thick fell and the jagged ice. 
Soon as he reach'd the point, whereat the thigh 
Upon the swelling of the haunches turns, 
My leader there, with pain and struggling hard, 
Turn'd round his head where his feet stood before, 
And grappled at the fell as one who mounts; 
That into Hell methought we turn'd again. 
"Expect that by such stairs as these," thus spake 
The teacher, panting like a man forespent, 
" w d f . 1 " 
e must epart rom eVI so extreme: 
Then at a rocky opening issued forth, 
And placed me on the brink to sit, next join'd 
With wary step my side. I raised mine eyes, 
Believing that I Lucifer should see 
Where he was lately left, but saw him no\v 
With legs held upward. Let the grosser sort, 
Who see not what the point was I had past, 
Bethink them if sore toil oppress'd me then. 
"Arise," my master cried, "upon thy feet. 
The way is long, and much uncouth the road; 
And now within one hour and a half of noon 2 
The sun returns." It was no palace-hall 


1 UBrutus." 'Landino struggles to extri- 
ocate Brutus from the unworthy lot which 
is here assigned him. He maintains that 
by Brutus and Cassius are not meant the 
individuals known by those names, but 
any who put a lawful monarch to death. 
Yet if Cæsar was such, the conspirators 
might be regarded as deserving of their 
doom. If Dante, however, believed Bru- 


tus to have been actuated by evil motives 
in putting Cæsar to death, the excellence 
of the patriot's character in other respects 
would only have aggravated his guilt in 
that particular. 
2 The Poet uses the Hebrew manner of 
computing the day, according to which 
the third hour answers to our twelve 
o'clock at noon. 



CANTO XXXIV 


HELL 


143 


Lofty and luminous wherein we stood, 
But natural dungeon where ill-footing was 
And scant supply of light. "Ere from the abyss 
I separate," thus when risen I began: 
"My guide! vouchsafe few words to set me free 
From error's thraldom. Where is now the ice? 
How standeth he in posture thus reversed? 
And how from eve to morn in space so brief 
Hath the sun made his transit?" He in few 
Thus answering spake: "Thou deemest thou art still 
On the other side the centre, where I grasp'd 
The abhorred worm that boreth through the world. 
Thou wast on the other side, so long as I 
Descended; when I turn'd, thou didst o'erpass 
That point, to which from every part is dragg'd 
All heavy substance. Thou art now arrived 
Under the hemisphere opposed to that, 
Which the great continent doth overspread, 
And underneath whose canopy expired 
The Man, that was born sinless and so lived. 
Thy feet are planted on the smallest sphere, 
Whose other aspect is J udecca. Morn 
Here rises, when there evening sets: and he, 
Whose shaggy pile we scaled, yet standeth fix'd, 
As at the first. On this part he fell down 
From Heaven; and th' earth here prominent before, 
Through fear of him did veil her with the sea, 
And to our hemisphere retired. Perchance, 
To shun him, was the vacant space left here, 
By what of firm land on this side appears,3 
That sprang aloof." There is a place beneath, 
From Belzebub as distant, as extends 
The vaulted tomb;4 discover'd not by sight, 
But by the sound of brooklet, that descends 
This way along the hollow of a rock, 
Which, as it winds with no precipitous course, 
The wave hath eaten. By that hidden way 
My guide and I did enter, to return 


3 The mountain of Purgatory. 
4 "The vaulted tomb" ("La tomba"). 


This word is used to express the whole 
depth of the infernal region. 



144 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXIV 


To the fair world: and heedless of repose 
We climb'd, he first, I following his steps, 
Till on our view the beautiful lights of Heaven 
Dawn'd through a circular opening in the cave: 
Thence issuing we again beheld the stan. 



PURGATORY 


CANTO I 


ARGUMENT.-The Poet describes the delight he experienced at issuing a little before 
dawn from the infernal regions, into the pure air that surrounds the isle of Purgatory; 
and then relates how, turning to the right, he beheld four stars never seen before, but 
by our first parents, and met on his left the shade of Cato of Utica, who, having 
warned him and Virgil what is needful to be done before they proceed on their way 
through Purgatory, disappears; and the two poets go toward the shore, where Virgil 
cleanses Dante's face with the dew, and girds him with a reed, as Cato had 
commanded. 


O 'ER better waves to speed her rapid course 
The light bark of my genius lifts the sail, 
Well pleased to leave so cruel sea behind; 
And of that second region will I sing, 
In which the human spirit from sinful blot 
.Is purged, and for ascent to Heaven prepares. 
Here, 0 ye hallow'd Nine! for in your train 
I follow, here the deaden'd strain revive; 
Nor let Calliope refuse to sound 
A somewhat higher song, of that loud tone 
Which when the wretched birds of chattering note l 
Had heard, they of forgiveness lost all hope. 
Sweet hue of eastern sapphire, that was spread 
O'er the serene aspect of the pure air, 
High up as the first circle,2 to mine eyes 
Unwonted joy renew'd, soon as I 'scaped 
Forth from the atmosphere of deadly gloom, 
That had mine eyes and bosom fill'd with grief. 
The radiant planet,3 that to love invites, 
Made all the orient laugh, and veil'd beneath 
The Pisces' light;' that in his [her] escort came. 
I "'Birds of chattering note." For the likes to be as far off the rest of the com- 
fable of the daughters of Pierus who mentators as possible) will have it, the 
challenged the muses to sing, and were highest circle of the stars. 
by them changed into magpies, see Ovid, 3 "Planet." Venus. 
Met. lib. v. fab. 5. "The constellation of the Fish veiled by 
2 "The first circle'" Either, as some the more luminous body of Venus, then 
suppose, the moon; Of, as Lombardi (who a morning star. 
145 



14 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
To the right hand I turn'd, and fix'd my mind 
On the other pole attentive, where I saw 
Four stars 5 ne'er seen before save by the ken 
Of our first parents. 6 Heaven of their rays 
Seem'd joyous. a thou northern site! bereft 
Indeed, and widow'd, since of these deprived. 
As from this view I had desisted, straight 
Turning a little toward the other pole, 
There from whence now the wain 7 had disappear'd, 
I saw an old man 8 standing by my side 
Alone, so worthy of reverence in his look, 
That ne'er from son to father more was owed. 
Low down his beard, and mix'd with hoary white, 
Descended, like his locks, which, parting, fell 
Upon his breast in double fold. The beams 
Of those four luminaries on his face 
So brightly shone, and with such radiance clear 
Deck'd it, that I beheld him as the sun. 
"Say who are ye, that stemming the blind stream, 
Forth from the eternal prison-house have fled?" 
He spoke and moved those venerable plumes. 
"Who hath conducted, or with lantern sure 
Lights you emerging from the depth of night, 
That makes the infernal valley ever black? 
Are the firm statutes of the dread abyss 
Broken, or in high Heaven new laws ordain'd, 
That thus, condemn'd, ye to my caves approach?" 
My guide, then laying hold on me, by words 
And intimations given with hand and head, 
Made my bent knees and eye submissive pay 
Due reverence; then thus to him replied: 
"Not of myself I come; a Dame from heaven 9 
Descending, him besought me in my charge 
To bring. But since thy will implies, that more 
Our true condition I unfold at large, 
Mine is not to deny thee thy request. 


CANTO I 


5 Symbolical of the four cardinal vir- 
tues, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and 
Temperance. 
6 "Our first parents." In the terrestrial 


paradise, placed on the summit of Purga- 
tory . 
7 Charles's Wain, or Bootes. 
8 "An old man." Cato. 
9 Beatrice. See Hell, ii. 54. 



CANTO I 


PURGATORY 
This mortal ne'er hath seen the farthest gloom; 
But erring by his folly had approach'd 
So near, that little space was left to turn. 
Then, as before I told, I was despatch'd 
To work his rescue; and no way remain'd 
Save this which I have ta'en. I have display'd 
Before him all the regions of the bad; 
And purpose now those spirits to display, 
That under thy command are purged from sin. 
How I have brought him would be long to say. 
From high descends the virtue, by whose aid 
I to thy sight and hearing him have led. 
Now may our coming please thee. In the search 
Of liberty he journeys: that how dear, 
They know who for her sake have life refused. 
Thou knowest, to whom death for her was sweet 
In Utica, where thou didst leave those weeds, 
That in the last great day will shine so bright. 
For us the eternal edicts are unmoved; 
He breathes, and I of Minos am not bound, 
Abiding in that circle, where the eyes 
Of thy chaste Marcia beam, who still in look 
Prays thee, 0 hallow'd spirit! to own her thine. 
Then by her love we implore thee, let us pass 
Through thy seven regions;lO for which, best thanks 
I for thy favour will to her return, 
If mention there below thou not disdain." 
"Marcia so pleasing in my sight was found," 
He then to him rejoin'd, "while I was there, 
That all she ask'd me I was fain to grant. 
Now that beyond the accursed stream she dwells, 
She may no longer move me, by that law,ll 
Which was ordain'd me, when I issued thence. 
Not so, if Dame from Heaven, as thou sayst, 
Moves and directs thee; then no flattery needs. 
Enough for me that in her name thou ask. 


10 "Through thy seven regions." The 
seven rounds of Purgatory, in which the 
seven capital sins are punished. 


147 


11 "By that Jaw." When he was de- 
livered by Christ from Limbo, a change 
of affections accompanied his change of 
place. 



14 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO I 


Go therefore now: and with a slender reed 12 
See that thou duly gird him, and his face 
Lave, till all sordid stain thou wipe from thence. 
For not with eye, by any cloud obscured, 
Would it be seemly before him to come, 
Who stands the foremost minister in Heaven. 
This islet all around, there far beneath, 
Where the wave beats it, on the oozy bed 
Produces store of reeds. No other plant, 
Cover'd with leaves, or harden'd in its stalk, 
There lives, not bending to the water's sway. 
After, this way return not; but the sun 
Will show you, that now rises, where to take 
The mountain in its easiest ascent." 
He disappear'd; and I myself upraised 
Speechless, and to my guide retiring close, 
Toward him turn'd mine eyes. He thus began: 
"M y son! observant thou my steps pursue. 
We must retreat to rereward; for that way 
The champain to its low extreme declines." 
The dawn had chased the matin hour of prime, 
Which fled before it, so that from afar 
I spied the trembling of the ocean stream. 
We traversed the deserted plain, as one 
Who, wander'd from his track, thinks every step 
Trodden in vain till he regain the path. 
When we had come, where yet the tender dew 
Strove with the sun, and in a place where fresh 
The wind breathed o'er it, while it slowly dried; 
Both hands extended on the watery grass 
My master placed, in graceful act and kind. 
Whence I of his intent before apprised, 
Stretch'd out to him my cheeks suffused with tears. 
There to my visage he anew restored 
That hue which the dun shades of Hell conceal'd. 
Then on the solitary shore arrived, 
That never sailing on its waters saw 
Man that could after measure back his course, 
He girt me in such manner as had pleased 
12 A type of simplicity and patience. 



CANTO II 


PURGATORY 


149 


Him who instructed; and, oh strange to tell! 
As he selected every humble plant, 
Wherever one was pluck'd another there 
Resembling, straightway in its place arose. 


CANTO II 


ARGUMENT.-They behold a vessel under conduct of an angel, coming over the 
waves with spirits to Purgatory, among whom, when the passengers have landed, 
Dante recognizes his friend Casella; but, while they are entertained by him with a 
song, they hear Cato exclaiming against their negligent loitering, and at that rebuke 
hasten forward to the mountain. 


N ow had the sun! to that horizon reach'd, 
That covers, with the most exalted point 
Of its meridian circle, Salem's walls; 
And night, that opposite to him her orb 
Rounds, from the stream of Ganges issued forth, 
Holding the scales,2 that from her hands are dropt 
When she reigns highest: 3 so that where I was, 
Aurora's white and vermeil-tinctured cheek 
To orange turn'd as she in age increased. 
Meanwhile we linger'd by the water's brink, 
Like men, who, musing on their road, in thought 
Journey, while motionless the body rests. 
When lo! as, near upon the hour of dawn, 
Through the thick vapors Mars with fiery beam 
Glares down in west, over the ocean floor; 
So seem'd, what once again I hope to view, 
A light, so swiftly coming through the sea, 
No winged course might equal its career. 
From which when for a space I had withdrawn 
Mine eyes, to make inquiry of my guide, 
Again I look'd, and saw it grown in size 
And brightness: then on either side appear'd 
Something, but what I knew not, of bright hue, 


1 "Now had the sun." Dante was now 
antipodal to Jerusalem; so that while the 
sun was setting with respect to that place, 
which he supposes to be the middle of 
the inhabited earth, to him it was rising. 
2 The constellation Libra. 


:3 "When she reigns highest" is (accord- 
ing to Venturi, whom I have followed) 
"when the autumnal equinox is passed." 
Lombardi supposes it to mean "when the 
nillhts begin to increase, that is, after the 
summer solstice." 



ISO 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO II 


And by degrees from underneath it came 
Another. My preceptor silent yet 
Stood, while the brightness, that we first discern'd, 
Open'd the form of wings: then when he knew 
The pilot, cried aloud, "Down, down; bend low 
Thy knees; behold God's angel: fold thy hands: 
Now shalt thou see true ministers indeed. 
La! how all human means he sets at naught; 
So that nor oar he needs, nor other sail 
Except his wings, between such distant shores. 
La! how straight up to Heaven he holds them rear'd, 
Winnowing the air with those eternal plumes, 
That not like mortal hairs fall off or change." 
As more and more toward us came, more bright 
Appear'd the bird of God, nor could the eye 
Endure his splendor near: I mine bent down. 
He drove ashore in a small bark so swift 
And light, that in its course no wave it drank. 
The heavenly steersman at the prow was seen, 
Visibly written Blessed in his looks. 
Within a hundred spirits and more there sat. 
"In Exitu 4 Israel de Egypto," 
All with one voice together sang, with what 
In the remainder of that hymn is writ. 
Then soon as with the sign of holy cross 
He bless'd them, they at once leap'd out on land: 
He, swiftly as he came, return'd. The crew, 
There left, appear'd astounded with the place, 
Gazing around, as one who sees new sights. 
From every side the sun darted his beams, 
And with his arrowy radiance from mid heaven 
Had chased the Capricorn, when that strange tribe, 
Lifting their eyes toward us: "If ye know, 
Declare what path will lead us to the mount." 
Them Virgil answer'd: "Ye suppose, perchance, 
Us well acquainted with this place: but here, 
We, as yourselves, are strangers. Not long erst 
We came, before you but a little space, 
By other road so rough and hard, that now 
4 "In Exitu." "When Israel came out of Egypt." Ps. cxiv. 



CANTO II 


PURGATORY 


ISI 


The ascent will seem to us as play." The spirits, 
Who from my breathing had perceived I lived, 
Grew pale with wonder. As the multitude 
Flock round a herald sent with olive branch, 
To hear what news he brings, and in their haste 
Tread one another down; e'en so at sight 
Of me those happy spirits were fix'd, each one 
Forgetful of its errand to depart 
Where, cleansed from sin, it might be made all fair. 
Then one I saw darting before the rest 
With such fond ardour to embrace me, I 
To do the like was moved. a shadows vain! 
Except in outward semblance: thrice my hands 
I clasp'd behind it, they as oft return'd 
Empty into my breast again. Surprise 
I need must think was painted in my looks, 
For that the shadow smiled and backward drew. 
To follow it I hasten'd, but with voice 
Of sweetness it enjoin'd me to desist. 
Then who it was I knew, and pray'd of it, 
To talk with me it would a little pause. 
It answer'd: "Thee as in my mortal frame 
I loved, so loosed from it I love thee still, 
And therefore pause: but why walkest thou here?" 
"Not without purpose once more to return, 
Thou find'st me, my Casella,5 where I am, 
Journeying this way;" I said: "but how of thee 
Hath so much time been lost?" He answer'd straight: 
"No outrage hath been done to me, if he,6 
Who when and whom he chooses takes, hath oft 
Denied me passage here; since of just will 
His will he makes. These three months pase indeed, 
He, who so chose to enter, with free leave 


5 "My Casella." A Florentine, cele- 
brated for his skill in music, "in whose 
company, says Landino, "Dante often re- 
created his spirits, wearied by severer 
studies." See Dr. Burney's History of 
Music, vol. ii. cap. iv., p. 322. See also 
Milton's sonnet to Henry Lawes: 
"Dante shall give fame leave to set thee 
higher 


Than his Casella, whom he wooed to 
smg, 
Met in the milder shades of Purgatory." 
6 "He." The conducting angel. 
7 "These three months past." Since the 
time of the Jubilee, during which all 
spirits not condemned to eternal punish- 
ment were supposed to pass over to 
Purgatory as soon as they pleased. 



15 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO II 


Hath taken; whence I wandering by the shores 
Where Tiber's wave grows salt, of him gain'd kind 
Admittance, at that river's mouth, toward which 
His wings are pointed; for there always throng 
All such as not to Acheron descend." 
Then I: "If new law taketh not from thee 

Iemory or custom of love-tuned song, 
That whilom all my cares had power to 'swage; 
Please thee therewith a little to console 
My spirit, that encumber'd with its frame, 
Travelling so far, of pain is overcome." 
"Love, that discourses in my thoughts," he then 
Began in such soft accents, that within 
The sweetness thrills me yet. My gentle guide, 
And all who came with him, so well were pleased, 
That seem'd naught else might in their thoughts have 
room. 
Fast fix'd in mute attention to his notes 
We stood, when lo! that old man venerable 
Exclaiming, "How is this, ye tardy spirits? 
What negligence detains you loitering here? 
Run to the mountain to cast off those scales, 
That from your eyes the sight of God conceal." 
As a wild flock of pigeons, to their food 
Collected, blade or tares, without their pride 
Accustom'd, and in still and quiet sort, 
If aught alarm them, suddenly desert 
Their meal, assaiI'd by more important care; 
So I that new-come troop beheld, the song 
Deserting, hasten to the mountain's side, 
As one who goes, yet, where he tends, knows not. 
Nor with less hurried step did we depart. 
S uThe shore." Ostia. 



CANTO III 


PURGATORY 


153 


CANTO III 


ARGUMENT.-Our Poet, perceiving no shadow except that cast by his own body, is 
fearful that Virgil has deserted him; but he is freed from that error, and both arrive 
together at the foot of the mountain; on finding it too steep to climb, they inquire 
the way from a troop of spirits that are coming toward them, and are by them shown 
which is the easiest ascent. Manfredi, King of Naples, who is one of these spirits, bids 
Dante inform his daughter Costanza, Queen of Arragon, of the manner in which he 
had died. 


T HEM sudden Bight had scatter'd o'er the plain, 
Turn'd toward the mountain, whither reason's 
VOIce 
Drives us: I, to my faithful company 
Adhering, left it not. For how, of him 
Deprived, might I have sped? or who, beside, 
Would o'er the mountainous tract have led my steps? 
He, with the bitter pang of self-remorse, 
Seem'd smitten. 0 clear conscience, and upright! 
How doth a little failing wound thee sore. 
Soon as his feet desisted (slackening pace) 
From haste, that mars all decency of act, 
My mind, that in itself before was wrapt, 
Its thought expanded, as with joy restored; 
And full against the steep ascent I set 
My face, where highest to Heaven its top o'erBows. 
The sun, that Bared behind, with ruddy beam 
Before my form was broken; for in me 
His rays resistance met. I turn'd aside 
With fear of being left, when I beheld 
Only before myself the ground obscured. 
\Vhen thus my solace, turning him around, 
Bespake me kindly: "Why distrustest thou? 
Believest not I am with thee, thy sure guide? 
It now is evening there, where buried lies 
The body in which I cast a shade, removed 
To Naples 1 from Brundusium's wall. Nor thou 
M3rvel, if before me no shadow fall, 
More than that in the skyey element 
One ray obstructs not other . To endure 
Torments of heat and cold extreme, like frames 


1 "To Naples." Virgil died at Brundusium, from whence his body is said to have 
been removed to Naples. 



154 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO III 


That virtue hath disposed, which, how it works, 
Wills not to us should be reveal'd. Insane, 
Who hopes our reason may that space explore, 
Which holds three persons in one substance knit. 
Seek not the wherefore, race of human kind; 
Could ye have seen the whole, no need had been 
For Mary to bring forth. Moreover, ye 
Have seen such men desiring fruitlessly; 
To whose desires, repose would have been given, 
That now but serve them for eternal grief. 
I speak of Plato, and the Stagirite, 
And others many more." And then he bent 
Downward his forehead, and in troubled mood 
Broke off his speech. Meanwhile we had arrived 
Far as the mountain's foot, and there the rock 
Found of so steep ascent, that nimblest steps 
To climb it had been vain. The most remote, 
Most wild, untrodden path, in all the tract 
'Twixt Lerice and Turbia,2 were to this 
A ladder easy and open of access. 
"Who knows on which hand now the steep declines?" 
My master said, and paused; "so that he may 
Ascend, who journeys without aid of wing?" 
And while, with looks directed to the ground, 
The meaning of the pathway he explored, 
And I gazed upward round the stony height; 
On the left hand appear'd to us a troop 
Of spirits, that toward us moved their steps; 
Yet moving seem'd not, they so slow approach'd. 
I thus my guide address'd: "Upraise thine eyes: 
Lo! that way some, of whom thou mayst obtain 
Counsel, if of thyself thou find'st it not." 
Straightway he look'd, and with free speech replied: 
"Let us tend thither: they but softly COine. 
And thou be firm in hope, my son beloved." 
Now was that crowd from us distant as far, 
(When we some thousand steps, I say, had past,) 
As at a throw the nervous arm could Bing; 


2 "Twixt Lerice and Turbia." At that republic; the former on the east, the 
time the two extremities of the Genoese latter on the west. 



CANTO III 


PURGATORY 


155 


When all drew backward on the massy crags 
Of the steep bank, and firmly stood unmoved, 
As one, who walks in doubt, might stand to look. 
"0 spirits perfect! a already chosen I" 
Virgil to them began: "by that blest peace, 
Which, as I deem, is for you all prepared, 
Instruct us where the mountain low declines, 
So that attempt to mount it be not vain. 
For who knows most, him loss of time most grieves." 
As sheep, that step from forth their fold, by one, 
Or pairs, or three at once; meanwhile the rest 
Stand fearfully, bending the eye and nose 
To ground, and what the foremost does, that do 
The others, gathering round her if she stops, 
Simple and quiet, nor the cause discern; 
So saw I moving to advance the first, 
Who of that fortunate crew were at the head, 
Of modest mien, and graceful in their gait. 
When they before me had beheld the light 
From my right side fall broken on the ground, 
So that the shadow reach'd the cave; they stopp'd, 
And somewhat back retired: the same did all 
Who follow'd, though unweeting of the cause. 
"Unask'd of you, yet freely I confess, 
This is a human body which ye see. 
That the sun's light is broken on the ground, 
Marvel not: but believe, that not without 
Virtue derived from Heaven, we to climb 
Over this wall aspire." So them bespake 
My master; and that virtuous tribe rejoin'd: 
"Turn, and before you there the entrance lies;" 
Making a signal to us with bent hands. 
Then of them one began. "Whoe'er thou art, 
Who journey'st thus this way, thy visage turn; 
Think if me elsewhere thou hast ever seen." 
I toward him turn'd, and with fix'd eye beheld. 
Cornel y and fair, and gentle of aspect 
He seem'd, but on one brow a gash was mark'd. 
When humbly I disclaim'd to have beheld 
Him ever: "Now behold!" he said, and show'd 



15 6 


THE DIVINE COMED
 


CANTO III 


High on his breast a wound: then smiling spake. 
"I am Manfredi, 3 grandson to the Queen 
Costanza: 4 whence I pray thee, when return'd, 
To my fair daughterS go, the parent glad 
Of Aragonia and Sicilia's pride; 
And of the truth inform her, if of me 
Aught else be told. When by two mortal blows 
My frame was shatter'd, I betook myself 
Weeping to Him, who of free will forgives. 
My sins were horrible: but so wide arms 
Hath goodness infinite, that it receives 
All who turn to it. Had this text divine 
Been of Cosenza's shepherd better scann'd, 
Who then by Clement 6 on my hunt was set, 
Yet at the bridge's head my bones had lain, 
Near Benevento, by the heavy mole 
Protected; but the rain now drenches them, 
And the wind drives, out of the kingdom's bounds, 
Far as the stream of Verde,7 where, with lights 
Extinguish'd, he removed them from their bed. 
Yet by their curse we are not so destroy'd, 
But that the eternal love may turn, while hope 
Retains her verdant blossom. True it is, 
That such one as in contumacy dies 


3 "Manfredi." King of Naples and 
Sicily, and the natural son of Frederick 
II. He was lively and agreeable in his 
manners, delighted in poetry, music, and 
dancing. But he was luxurious and am- 
bitious, void of religion, and in his 
philosophy an Epicurean. He fell in the 
battle with Charles of Anjou in 1265, 
alluded to in Canto xxviii of Hell, ver. 
13, or rather in that of Benevento. The 
successes of Charles were so rapidly fol- 
lowed up, that our author, exact as he 
generally is, might not have thought it 
necessary to distinguish them in point of 
time. "Dying excommunicated, King 
Charles did not allow of his being buried 
in sacred ground, but he was interred 
near the bridge of Benevento; and on his 
grave there was cast a stone by every one 
of the army, whence there was formed 
a great mound of stones. But some have 


said, that afterward, by command of the 
Pope, the Bishop of Cosenza took up his 
body and sent it out of the kingdom, be- 
cause it was the land of the Church; and 
that it was buried by the river Verde, on 
the borders of the kingdom and of Cam- 
pagna. " 
4 See Paradise, Canto iii. 121. 
5 Costanza, the daughter of Manfredi, 
and wife of Peter III, King of Arragon, 
by whom she was mother to Frederick, 
King of Sicily, and James, King of Ar- 
ragon. With the latter of these she w
 
at Rome, 1296. 
6 "Clement." Pope Clement IV. 
7 "The stream of Verde." A river near 
Ascoli, that falls into the Tronto. The 
"extinguished lights" formed part of the 
ceremony at the interment of one ex- 
communicated. 



CANTO IV 


PURGATORY 
Against the holy Church, though he repent, 
Must wander thirty-fold for all the time 
In his presumption past: if such decree 
Be not by prayers of good men shorter made. 
Look therefore if thou canst advance my bliss; 
Revealing to my good Costanza, how 
Tl10u hast beheld me, and beside, the terms 
Laid on me of that interdict; for here 
By means of those below much profit comes." 


IS7 


CANTO IV 


ARGUMENT.-Ðante and Virgil ascend the mountain of Purgatory, by a steep and 
narrow path pent in on each side by rock, till they reach a part of it that opens into 
a ledge or cornice. There seating themsel ves, and turning to the east, Dante wonders 
at seeing the sun on their left, the cause of which IS explained to him by Virgil; 
and while they continue their discourse, a voice addresses them, at which they turn, 
and find several spirits behind the rock, and among the rest one named Belacqua, 
who had been known to our Poet on earth, and who tells that he is doomed to linger 
there on account of his having delayed his repentance to the last. 


W HEN by sensations of delight or pain, 
That any of our faculties hath seized, 
Entire the soul collects herself, it seems 
She is intent upon that power alone; 
And thus the error is disproved, which holds 
The soul not singly lighted in the breast. 
And therefore whenas aught is heard or seen, 
That firmly keeps the soul toward it turn'd, 
Time passes, and a man perceives it not. 
For that, whereby we hearken, is one power; 
Another that, which the whole spirit hath: 
This is as it were bound, while that is free. 
This found I true by proof, hearing that spirit 
And wondering; for full fifty steps 1 aloft 
The sun had measured, unobserved of me, 
When we arrived where all with one accord 
The spirits shouted, "Here is what ye ask." 
A larger aperture oft-times is stopt, 
With forked stake of thorn by villager, 
Wh
n the ripe grape imbrowns, than was the path, 
1 Three hours twenty minutes; fifteen degrees being reckoned to an hour. 



15 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
By which my guide, and I behind him close, 
Ascended solitary, when that troop 
Departing left us. On Sanleo's2 road 
Who journeys, or to Noli 3 low descends, 
Or mounts Bismantua's4 height, must use his feet; 
But here a man had need to By, I mean 
With the swift wing and plumes of high desire, 
Conducted by his aid, who gave me hope, 
And with light furnish'd to direct my way. 
We through the broken rock ascended, close 
Pent on each side, while underneath the ground 
Ask'd help of hands and feet. When we arrived 
Near on the highest ridge of the steep bank, 
Where the plain level open'd, I exclaim'd, 
"0 Master! say, which way can we proceed." 
He answer'd, "Let no step of thine recede. 
Behind me gain the mountain, till to us 
Some practised guide appear." That eminence 
Was lofty, that no eye might reach its point; 
And the side proudly rising, more than line 
From the mid quadrant to the centre drawn. 
I, wearied, thus began: "Parent beloved! 
Turn and behold how I remain alone, 
If thou stay not."-"My son!" he straight replied, 
"Thus far put forth thy strength;" and to a track 
Pointed, that, on this side projecting, round 
Circles the hill. His words so spurr'd me on, 
That I, behind him, clambering, forced myself, 
Till my feet press'd the circuit plain beneath. 
There both together seated, turn'd we round 
To eastward, whence was our ascent: and oft 
Many beside have with delight look'd back. 
First on the nether shores I turn'd mine eyes, 
Then raised them to the sun, and wondering mark'd 
That from the left it smote us. Soon perceived 
That poet sage, how at the car of light 


CANTO IV 


2 "Sanleo." A fortress on the summit 
of Montefeltro. The situation is described 
by Troya, Veltro Allegorico, p. II. It is 
a conspicuous object to travellers along 
the cornice on the Riviera di Genoa. 


3 "Noli." In the Genoese territory, be- 
tween Finale and Savona. 
4 "Bismantua." A steep mountain in 
the territory of Reggio. 



CANTO IV 


PURGATORY 


159 


Amazed 5 I stood, where 'twixt us and the north 
Its course it enter'd. Whence he thus to me: 
"Were Leda's offspri ng 6 now in company 
Of that broad mirror, that high up and low 
Imparts his light beneath, thou mightst behold 
The ruddy Zodiac nearer to the Bears 
'''heel, if its ancient course it not forsook. 
How that may be, if thou wouldst think; within 
Pondering, imagine Sion with this mount 
Placed on the earth, so that to both be one 
Horizon, and two hemispheres apart, 
Where lies the path 7 that Phaëton ill knew 
To guide his erring chariot: thou wilt sees 
How of necessity by this, on one, 
He passes, while by that on the other side; 
If with clear view thine intellect attend." 
"Of truth, kind teacher!" I exclaim'd, "so clear 
Aught saw I never, as I now discern, 
'''here seem'd my ken to fail, that the mid orb 9 
Of the supernal motion (which in terms 
Of art is call'd the Equator, and remains 
Still 'twixt the sun and winter) for the cause 
Thou hast assign'd, from hence toward the north 
Departs, when those, who in the Hebrew land 
'''ere dwellers, saw it towards the warmer part. 
But if it please thee, I would gladly know, 


5 "Amazed." He wonders that being 
turned to the east he should see the sun 
on his left, since in all the regions on this 

ide of the tropic of Cancer it is seen on 
the right of one who turns his face 
toward the east; not recollecting that he 
was now antipodal to Europe, from 
whence he had seen the sun taking an 
opposite course. 
6 "As the constellation of the Gemini is 
nearer the Bears than Aries is, it is certain 
that if the sun, instead of being in Aries, 
had been in Gemini, both the sun and 
that portion of the Zodiac made 'ruddy' 
by the sun, would have been seen to 
'wheel nearer to the Bears.' By the 'ruddy 
Zodiac' must necessarily be understood 
that portion of the Zodiac affected or 
made red by the sun; for the whole of 


the Zodiac never changes, nor appears to 
change, with respect to the remainder of 
the heavens."-Lombardi. 
7 "The path." The ecliptic. 
8 "Thou wilt see." "If you consider 
that this mountain of Purgatory, and that 
of Sion, are antipodal to each other, you 
will perceive that the sun must rise on 
opposite sides of the respective emi- 
nences. " 
9 "That the mid orb." "That the equa- 
tor (which is always situated between that 
part where, when the sun is, he causes 
summer, and the other where his absence 
produces winter) recedes from this moun- 
tain toward the north, at the time when 
the Jews inhabiting Mount Sion saw it 
depart toward the south."-Lombardi. 



160 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IV 


How far we have to journey: for the hill 
Mounts higher, than this sight of mine can mount." 
He thus to me: "Such is this steep ascent, 
That it is ever difficult at first, 
But more a man proceeds, less evil gro\vs. 10 
'Vhen pleasant it shall seem to thee, so much 
That upward going shall be easy to thee 
As in a vessel to go down the tide, 
Then of this path thou wilt have reach'd the end. 
There hope to rest thee from thy toil. No more 
I answer, and thus far from certain know." 
As he his words had spoken, near to us 
A voice there sounded : "Yet ye first perchance 
May to repose you by constraint be led." 
At sound thereof each turn'd; and on the left 
A huge stone we beheld, of which nor I 
N or he before was ware. Thither we drew; 
And there were some, who in the shady place 
Behind the rock were standing, as a man 
Through idleness might stand. Among them one, 
'Vho seem'd to be much wearied, sat him down, 
And with his arms did fold his knees about, 
Holding his face between them downward bent. 
"Sweet Sir!" I cried, "behold that man who shows 
Himself more idle than if laziness 
Were sister to him." Straight he turn'd to us, 
And, o'er the thigh lifting his face, observed, 
Then in these accents spake : "Up then, proceed, 
Thou valiant one." Straight who it was I knew; 
Nor could the pain I felt (for want of breath 
Still somewhat urged me) hinder my approach. 
And when I came to him, he scarce his head 
Uplifted, saying, "Well hast thou discern'd, 
How from the left the sun his chariot leads?" 
His lazy acts and broken words my lips 
To laughter somewhat moved; when I began: 
"Belacqua,l1 now for thee I grieve no more. 
10 Because in ascending he gets rid of Belacqua was an excellent master of the 
the weight of his sins. harp and lute, but very negligent in his 
11 In the margin of the Monte Casino affairs both spiritual and temporal." 
MS. there is found this brief notice: "This 



CANTO V 


PURGATORY 
But tell, why thou art seated upright there. 
Waitest thou escort to conduct thee hence? 
Or blame I only thine accustom'd ways?" 
Then he: "My brother! of what use to mount, 
When, to my suffering, would not let me pass 
The bird of God, who at the portal sits? 
Behoves so long that Heaven first bear me round 
Without its limits, as in life it bore; 
Because I, to the end, repentant sighs 
Delay'd; if prayer do not aid me first, 
That riseth up from heart which lives in grace. 
What other kind avails, not heard in Heaven?" 
Before me now the poet, up the mount 
Ascending, cried: "Haste thee: for see the sun 
Has touch'd the point meridian; and the night 
Now. covers with her foot Marocco's shore." 


CANTO V 


161 


ARGUMENT.-They meet with others, who had deferred their repentance till over.. 
taken by a violent death, when sufficient space being allowed them, they were then 
saved; and among these, Giacopo del Cassero, Buonconte da Montefeltro, and 'Pia, 
a lady of Siena. 


N OW had I left those spirits, and pursued 
The steps of my conductor; when behind, 
Pointing the finger at me, one exclaim'd: 
"See, how it seems as if the light not shone 
From the left hand l of him beneath,2 and he, 
As living, seems to be led on." Mine eyes, 
I at that sound reverting, saw them gaze, 
Through wonder, first at me; and then at me 
And the light broken underneath, by turns. 
"Why are thy thoughts thus riveted," my guide 
Exclaim'd, "that thou hast slack'd thy pace? or how 
Imports it thee, what thing is whisper'd here? 
Come after me, and to their babblings leave 


1 The sun was, therefore, on the ri
ht 
of our travellers. For, as before, when 
seated and looking to the east whence 
they had ascended, the sun was on their 


left; so now that they are again going 
forward, it must be on the opposite side 
of them. 
2 Of Dante, following Virgil. 



162 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO V 


The crowd. Be as a tower, that, firmly set, 
Shakes not its top for any blast that blows. 
He, in whose bosom thought on thought shoots out, 
Still of his aim is wide, in that the one 
Sicklies and wastes to naught the other's strength." 
'Vhat other could I answer, save "I come"? 
I said it, somewhat with that color tinged, 
'Vhich oft-times pardon meriteth for man. 
Meanwhile traverse along the hill there came, 
A little way before us, some who sang 
The "Miserere" in responsive strains. 
When they perceived that through my body I 
Gave way not for the rays to pass, their song 
Straight to a long and hoarse exclaim they changed; 
And two of them, in guise of messengers, 
Ran on to meet us, and inquiring ask'd: 
"Of your condition we would gladly learn." 
To them my guide: "Ye may return, and bear 
Tidings to them who sent you, that his frame 
Is real flesh. If, as I deem, to view 
His shade'they paused, enough is answer'd them: 
Him let them honor: they may prize him well." 
Ne'er saw I fiery vapors with such speed 
Cut through the serene air at fall of night, 
Nor August's clouds athwart the setting sun, 
That upward these did not in shorter space 
Return; and, there arriving, with the rest 
Wheel back on us, as with loose rein a troop. 
"
fany," exclaim'd the bard, "are these, who throng 
Around us: to petition thee, they come. 
Go therefore on, and listen as thou go'st. u 
"0 spirit! who go'st on to blessedness, 
With the same limbs that clad thee at thy birth,U 
Shouting they came: "a little rest thy step. 
Look if thou anyone amongst our tribe 
Hast e'er beheld, that tidings of him there 3 
Thou mayst report. Ah, wherefore go'st thou on? 
Ah, \v herefore tarriest thou not ? We all 
By violence died, and to our latest hour 
3 "There." Upon the earth. 



CANTO V 


PURGATORY 


16 3 


Were sinners, but then warn'd by light from Heaven; 
So that, repenting and forgiving, we 
Did issue out of life at peace with God, 
Who, with desire to see Him, fills our heart." 
Then I: "The visages of all I scan, 
Yet none of ye remember. But if aught 
That I can do may please you, gentle spirits! 
Speak, and I will perform it; by that peace, 
Which, on the steps of guide so excellent 
Following, from world to world, intent I seek." 
In answer he began: "None here distrusts 
Thy kindness, though not promised with an oath; 
So as the will fail not for want of power. 
Whence I, who sole before the other speak, 
Entreat thee, if thou ever see that land 4 
'Vhich lies between Romagna and the realm 
Of Charles, that of thy courtesy thou pray 
Those who inhabit Fano, that for me 
Their adorations duly be put up, 
By which I may purge off my grievous sins. 
From thence I came. s But the deep passages, 
'Vhence issued out the blood 6 wherein I dwelt, 
Upon my bosom in Antenor's land 7 
Were made, where to be more secure I thought. 
The author of the deed was Este's prince, 
Who, more than right could warrant, with his wrath 
Pursued me. Had I toward Mira fled, 
When overta' en at Oriaco, still 
Might I have breathed. But to the marsh I sped; 
And in the mire and rushes tangled there 
Fell, and beheld my life-blood float the plain." 
Then said another: "Ah! so may the wish, 
That takes thee o'er the mountain, be fulfìll'd, 
As thou shalt graciously give aid to mine. 
4 The Marca d' Ancona, between Ro- Brenta, whence, if he had fled toward 
magna and Apulia, the kingdom of Mira, higher up on that river, instead of 
Charles of Anjou. making for the marsh on the sea-shore, 
S Giacopo del Cassero, a citizen of he might have escaped. 
Pano, who having spoken ill of Azzo da 6 Supposed to be the seat of life. 
Este, Marquis of Ferrara, was by his 7 Padua, said to be founded by Antenor. 
orders put to death. Giacopo was over: This implies a reflection on the Paduans. 
taken by the assassins at Oriaco, near the See Hell, xxxii. 89. 



16 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO V 


Of Montefeltro 1;8 Buonconte I: 
Giovanna 9 nor none else have care for me; 
Sorrowing with these I therefore go." I thus: 
"From Campaldino's field what force or chance 
Drew thee, that ne'er thy sepulture was known?" 
"Ohl" answer'd he, "at Casentino's foot 
A stream there courseth, named Archiano, sprung 
In Apennine above the hermit's seat. lO 
E'en where its name is cancel'd,l1 there came I, 
Pierced in the throat, fleeing away on foot, 
And bloodying the plain. Here sight and speech 
Fail'd me; and, finishing with Mary's name, 
I fell, and tenantless my flesh remain'd. 
I will report the truth; which thou again 
Tell to the living. Me God's angel took, 
Whilst he of Hell exclaim'd: '0 thou from Heaven! 
Say wherefore hast thou robb'd me? Thou of him 
The eternal portion bear'st with thee away, 
For one poor tear that he deprives me of. 
But of the other, other rule I make.' 
"Thou know'st how in the atmosphere collects 
That vapour dank, returning into water 
Soon as it mounts where cold condenses it. 
That evil will,12 which in his intellect 
Still follows evil, came; and raised the wind 
And smoky mist, by virtue of the power 
Given by his nature. Thence the valley, soon 
As day was spent, he cover'd o'er with cloud, 
From Pratomagno to the mountain range;13 
And stretch'd the sky above; so that the air 
Impregnate changed to water. Fell the rain; 
And to the fosses came all that the land 


8 Buonconte, son of Guido da Monte- 
Íeltro (see also the twenty-seventh canto 
of Hell), fell in the battle of Campaldino 
( I 289), fighting on the side of the 
Aretini. In this engagement our Poet took 
a distinguished part. 
9 Wife or kinswoman of Buonconte. 
10 The hermitage of Camaldoli. 
11 Between Bibbiena and Pop pi, where 
the Archiano joins the Arno. 


12 The Devil. This notion of the Evil 
Spirit having power over the elements, 
appears to have arisen from his being 
termed the "prince of the air," in the 
New Testament. 
13 From Pratomagno, now caBed Prato 
Vecchio (which divides the Valdarno 
f
om Casentino), as far as to the Apen- 
mnes. 



CANTO VI 


PURGATORY 


16 5 


Contain'd not; and, as mightiest streams are wont, 
To the great river, with such headlong sweep, 
Rush'd, that naught stay'd its course. My stiffen'd frame 
Laid at his mouth, the fell Archiano found, 
And dashed it into Arno; from my breast 
Loosening the cross, that of myself I made 
When overcome with pain. He hurl'd me on, 
Along the banks and bottom of his course; 
Then in his muddy spoils encircling wrapt." 
"Ah! when thou to the world shalt be return'd, 
And rested after thy long road," so spake 
Next the third spirit; "then remember me. 
I once was Pia. l4 Sienna gave me life; 
Maremma took it from me. That he knows, 
Who me with jewel'd ring had first espoused." 


CANTO VI 


ARGUMENT.-Many besides, who are in like case with those spoken of in the last 
Canto, beseech our Poet to obtain for them the prayers of their friends, when he shall 
be returned to this world. This moves him to express a doubt to his guide, how the- 
dead can be profited by the prayers of the living; for the solution of which doubt 
he is referred to Beatrice. Afterward he meets with Sordello the Mantuan, whose 
affection. shown to Virgil his countryman, leads Dante to break forth into an invective 
against the unnatural divisions with which Italy, and more especially Florence, was. 
distracted. 


W HEN from their game of dice men separate, 
He who hath lost remains in sadness fix'd, 
Revolving in his mind what luckless throws 
He cast: but, meanwhile, all the company 
Go with the other; one before him runs, 
And one behind his mantle twitches, one 
Fast by his side bids him remember him. 
He stops not; and each one, to whom his hand 
Is stretch'd, well knows he bids him stand aside; 
And thus 1 he from the press defends himself. 
E'en such was I in that close-crowding throng; 


14 uPia." She is said to have been a 
Siennese lady, of the family of Tolommei, 
secretly made away with by her husband, 
Nello della Pietra, of the same city, in 


Maremma, where he had some posses- 
SIOns. 
1 "And thus." It was usual for money 
to be given to bystanders at play by 
winners. 



166 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VI 


And turning so my face around to all, 
And promising, I 'scaped from it with pains. 
Here of Arezzo him 2 I saw, who fell 
By Ghino's cruel arm; and him beside,3 
Who in his chase was swallow'd by the stream. 
Here Frederic Novello/ with his hand 
Stretch'd forth, entreated; and of Pisa he,s 
'Vho put the good Marzucco to such proof 
Of constancy. Count Orso 6 I beheld; 
And from its frame a soul dismiss'd for spite 
And envy, as it said, but for no crime; 
I speak of Peter de la Brosse: 7 and here, 
While she yet lives, that Lady of Brabant, 
Let her beware; lest for so false a deed 
She herd with worse than these. 'Vhen I was freed 
From all those spirits, who pray'd for others' prayers 
To hasten on their state of blessedness; 
Straight I began: "0 thou, my luminary! 
It seems expressly in thy text denied, 
That Heaven's supreme decree can ever bend 
To supplication; yet with this design 
Do these entreat. Can then their hope be vain? 


2 Benincasa of Arezzo, eminent for his 
skill in jurisprudence, who having con- 
demned to death Turrino da Turrita, 
brother of Chino di Tacco, for his rob- 
beries in Maremma, was murdered by 
Ghino, in an apartment of his own house, 
in the presence of many witnesses. Chino 
was not only suffered to escape in safety, 
but obtained so high a reputation by the 
liberality with which he dispensed the 
fruits of his plunder, and treated those 
who fell into his hands with so much 
courtesy, that he was afterward invited to 
Rome, and knighted by Boniface VIII. 
3 Cione, or Ciacco de' Tarlatti of 
Arezzo, carried by his horse into the 
Arno, and there drowned, while in pur- 

uit of enemies. 
4 "Frederic Novello." Son of the Conte 
Guido da Battifolle, and slain by one of 
the family of Bostoli. 
5 Parinata de' Scornigiani, of Pisa. His 
father, Marzucco, who had entered the 
order of the Prati Minori, so entirely over- 


came his resentment, that he even kissed 
the hands of the slayer of his son, and 
as he was following the funeral, exhorted 
his kinsmen to reconciliation. 
6 "Count Orso." Son of Napoleone da 
Cerbaia, slain by Alberto da Mangona, his 
uncle. 
7 Secretary of PhiJip III of France. The 
courtiers envying the high place which 
he held in the King's favor, prevailed on 
Mary of Brabant to charge him falsely 
with an attempt upon her person; for 
which supposed crime he suffered death. 
So say the Italian commentators. Henault 
represents the matter very differently: 
"Pierre de la Brosse, formerly barber to 
St. Louis. afterward the favorite of 
Philip, fearing the too great attachment 
of the King for his wife Mary, accuses this 
princess of having poisoned Louis, eldest 
son of Philip, by his first marriage. This 
calumny is discovered by a nun of Nivelle, 
in Flanders. La Brosse is hanged." 



CANTO VI 


PURGATORY 


16 7 


Or is thy saying not to me reveal'd?" 
He thus to me: "Both what I write is plain, 
And these deceived not in their hope; if well 
Thy mind consider, that the sacred height 
Of judgment doth not stoop, because love's flame 
In a short moment all fulfills, which he, 
Who sojourns here, in right should satisfy. 
Besides, when I this point concluded thus, 
By praying no defect could be supplied; 
Because the prayer had none access to God. 
Yet in this deep suspicion rest thou not 
Contented, unless she assure thee so, 
Who betwixt truth and mind infuses light: 
I know not if thou take me right; I mean 
Beatrice. Her thou shalt behold above, 
Upon this mountain's crown, fair seat of joy." 
Then I: "Sid let us mend our speed; for now 
I tire not as before: and 101 the hill 8 
Stretches its shadow far." He answer'd thus: 
"Our progress with this day shall be as much 
As we may now despatch; but otherwise 
Than thou supposest is the truth. For there 
Thou canst not be, ere thou once more behold 
Him back returning, who behind the steep 
Is now so hidden, that, as erst, his beam 
Thou clost not break. But 101 a spirit there 
Stands solitary, and toward us looks: 
It will instruct us in the speediest way." 
We soon approach'd it. 0 thou Lombard spirit! 
How didst thou stand, in high abstracted mood, 
Scarce moving with slow dignity thine eyes. 
It spoke not aught, but let us onward pass, 
Eying us as a lion on his watch. 
But Virgil, with entreaty mild, advanced, 
Requesting it to show the best ascent. 
It answer to his question none return'd; 
But of our country and our kind of life 
Demanded. When my courteous guide began, 
"Mantua," the shadow, in itself absorb'd, 
8 "The hil1." It was now past the moon. 



168 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VI 


Rose toward us from the place in which it stood, 
And cried, "Mantuan! I am thy countryman, 
Sordello." 9 Each the other then embraced. 
Ah, slavish Italy! thou inn of grief! 
Vessel without a pilot in loud storm! 
Lady no longer of fair provinces, 
But brothel-house impurel this gentle spirit, 
Even from the pleasant sound of his dear land 
Was prompt to greet a fellow citizen 
With such glad cheer: while now thy living ones 
In thee abide not without war; and one 
Malicious gnaws another; ay, of those 
'''hom the same wall and the same moat contains. 
Seek, wretched one I around the sea-coasts wide; 
Then homeward to thy bosom turn; and mark, 
If any part of thee sweet peace enjoy. 
What boots it, that thy reins Justinian's hand 
Refitted, if thy saddle be unprest? 
Naught doth he now but aggravate thy shame. 
Ah, people! thou obedient still should'st live, 
And in the saddle let thy Cæsar sit, 
If well thou marked'st that which God commands. 
Look how that beast to fellness hath relapsed, 
From having lost correction of the spur, 
Since to the bridle thou hast set thine hand, 
o German AlbertPO who abandon'st her 
That is grown savage and unmanageable, 
When thou shouldst clasp her flanks with forked heels. 
Just judgment from the stars fall on thy blood; 
And be it strange and manifest to all; 
Such as may strike thy successor ll with dread; 
For that thy sire 12 and thou have suffer'd thus, 


9 Sordello's life is wrapt in obscurity. 
He distinguished himself by his skill in 
Provençal poetry and many feats of mili- 
tary prowess have been attributed to him. 
It is probable that he was born at the 
end of the twelfth, and died about the 
middle of the succeeding, century. 
10 The Emperor Albert I succeeded 
Adolphus in 1298, and was murdered in 
1308. See Paradise, Canto xix. 114. 


11 Henry of Luxemburg, by whose in- 
terposition in the affairs of Italy our Poet 
hoped to have been reinstated in hi
 
native city. 
12 The Emperor Rodolph, too intent on 
increasing his power in Germany to give 
much of his thoughts to Italy, ."the garden 
of the empire. II 



CANTO VI 


PURGATORY 


16 9 


Through greediness of yonder realms detain'd, 
The garden of the empire to run waste. 
Come, see the Capulets and Montagues,I3 
The Filippeschi and Monaldi,14 man 
Who carest for naughtl those sunk in grief, and these 
With dire suspicion rack'd. Come, cruel one I 
Come, and behold the oppression of the nobles, 
And mark their injuries; and thou mayst see 
What safety Santafiore can supply.IS 
Come and behold thy Rome, who calls on thee, 
Desolate widow, day and night with moans, 
"My Cæsar, why dost thou desert my side?" 
Come, and behold what love among thy people: 
And if no pity touches thee for us, 
Come, and blush for thine own report. For me, 
If it be lawful, 0 Almighty Power I 
Who wast on earth for our sakes crucified, 
Are thy just eyes turn'd elsewhere? or is this 
A preparation, in the wondrous depth 
Of thy sage counsel made, for some good end, 
Entirely from our reach of thought cut off? 
So are the Italian cities all o'erthrong'd 
With tyrants, and a great Marcellus made 
Of every petty factious villager. 
My Florence! thou mayst well remain unmoved 
At this digression, which affects not thee: 
Thanks to thy people, who so wisely speed. 
Many have justice in their heart, that long 
Waiteth for counsel to direct the bow, 
Or ere it dart unto its aim: but thine 
Have it on their lips' edge. Many refuse 
To bear the common burdens: readier thine 
Answer uncall'd, and cry, "Behold I stoop!" 
Make thyself glad, for thou hast reason now, 
Thou wealthyl thou at peace! thou wisdom-fraught! 
Facts best will witness if I speak the truth. 
Athens and Lacedæmon, who of old 
Enacted laws, for civil arts renown'd, 


13 Two powerful Ghibelline families of 
Verona. 


14 Two rival families in Orvieto. 
15 A place between Pisa and Siena. 



17 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VII 


Made little progress in improving life 
Toward thee, who usest such nice subtlety, 

rhat to the middle of November scarce 
Reaches the thread thou in October weavest. 
How many times within thy memory, 
Customs, and laws, and coins, and offices 
Have been by thee renew'd, and people changed. 
If thou remember'st well and canst see clear, 
Thou wilt perceive thyself like a sick wretch, 
Who finds no rest upon her down, but oft 
Shifting her side, short respite seeks from pain. 


CANTO VII 


ARGUMENT.-The approach of night hindering further ascent, Sordello conducts 
our Poet apart to an eminence, from whence they behold a pleasant recess, in form 
of a flowery valley, scooped out of the mountain; where are many famous spirits, and 
among them the Emperor Rodolph, Ottocar, King of Bohemia, Philip III of France, 
Henry of Navarre, Peter III of Arragon, Charles I of Naples, Henry III of England, 
and William, Marquis of Montferrat. 


X TER their courteous greetings joyfully 
Seven times exchanged, Sordello backward drew 
Exclaiming, "Who are ye?"-"Before this mount 
By spirits worthy of ascent to God 
Was sought, my bones had by Octavius' care 
Been buried. I am Virgil; for no sin 
Deprived of Heaven, except for lack of faith." 
So answer'd him in few my gentle guide. 
As one, who aught before him suddenly 
Beholding, whence his wonder riseth, cries, 
"It is, yet is not," wavering in belief; 
Such he appear'd; then downward bent his eyes, 
And, drawing near with reverential step, 
Caught him, where one of mean estate might clasp 
His lord. "Glory of Latium!" he exclaim'd, 
"In whom our tongue its utmost power display'd; 
Boast of my honor'd birth-place! what desert 
Of mine, what favour, rather, undeserved, 
Shows thee to me? If I to hear that voice 
Am worthy, say if from below thou comest, 



CANTO VII 


PURGATORY 


17 1 


And from what cloister's pale."-"Through every 
orb 
Of that sad region," he replied, "thus far 
Am I arrived, by heavenly influence led: 
And with such aid I come. Not for my doing, 
But for not doing, have I lost the sight 
Of that high Sun, whom thou desirest, and who 
By me too late was known. There is a place 1 
There underneath, not made by torments sad, 
But by dun shades alone; where mourning's voice 
Sounds not of anguish sharp, but breathes in sighs. 
There I with little innocents abide, 
Who by death's fangs were bitten, ere exempt 
From human taint. There I with those abide, 
Who the three holy virtues 2 put not on, 
But understood the rest,3 and without blame 
Follow'd them all. But, if thou know'st, and canst, 
Direct us how we soonest may arrive, 
Where Purgatory its true beginning takes." 
He answer'd thus: "We have no certain place 
Assign'd us: upward I may go, or round. 
Far as I can, I join thee for thy guide. 
But thou beholdest now how day declines; 
And upward to proceed by night, our power 
Excels: therefore it may be well to choose 
A place of pleasant sojourn. To the right 
Some spirits sit apart retired. If thou 
Consentest, I to these will lead thy steps: 
And thou wilt know them, not without delight." 
"How chances this?" was answer'd: "whoso wish'd 
To ascend by night, would he be thence debarr'd 
By other, or through his own weakness fail?" 
The good Sordello then, along the ground 
Trailing his finger, spoke: "Only this line 
Thou shalt not overpass, soon as the sun 
Hath disappear'd; not that aught else impedes 
Thy going upward, save the shades of night. 
These, with the want of power, perplex the will. 


1 Limbo. See Hell, Canto iv. 24.. 
2 Faith, Hope, and Charity. 


3 "The rest." Prudence, Justice, Forti- 
tude, and Temperance. 



17 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VII 


With them thou haply mightst return beneath, 
Or to and fro around the mountain's side 
Wander, while day is in the horizon shut." 
My master straight, as wondering at his speech, 
Exclaim'd: "Then lead us quickly, where thou sayst 
That, while we stay, we may enjoy delight." 
A little space we were removed from thence, 
When I perceived the mountain hollow'd out, 
Even as large valleys hollow'd out on earth. 
"That way," the escorting spirit cried, "we go, 
Where in a bosom the high bank recedes: 
And thou await renewal of the day." 
Betwixt the steep and plain, a crooked path 
Led us traverse into the ridge's side, 
Where more than half the sloping edge expires. 
Refulgent gold, and silver thrice refined, 
And scarlet grain and ceruse, Indian wood 
Of lucid dye serene, fresh emeralds 
But newly broken, by the herbs and flowers 
Placed in that fair recess, in color all 
Had been surpass'd, as great surpasses less. 
Nor nature only there lavish'd her hues, 
But of the sweetness of a thousand smells 
A rare and undistinguish'd fragrance made. 
"Salve Regina," 4 on the grass and flowers, 
Here chanting, I beheld those spirits sit, 
Who not beyond the valley could be seen. 
"Before the westering sun sink to his bed," 
Began the Mantuan, who our steps had turn'd, 
" 'Mid those, desire not that I lead ye on. 
For from this eminence ye shall discern 
Better the acts and visages of all, 
Than, in the nether vale, among them mix'd. 
He, who sits high above the rest, and seems 
To have neglected that he should have done, 
And to the others' song moves not his lip, 
The Emperor Rodolph call, who might have heal'd 
The wounds whereof fair Italy hath died, 
" "Sal ve Regina." The beginning of a prayer to the Virgin. 



CANTO VII 


PURGATORY 


173 


So that by others she revives but slowly. 
He, who with kindly visage comforts him, 
Sway'd in that country,S where the water springs) 
That Moldaw's river to the Elbe, and Elbe 
Rolls to the ocean: Ottocar 6 his name: 
Who in his swaddling-clothes was of more worth 
Than Wenceslaus his son, a bearded man, 
Pamper'd with rank luxuriousness and ease. 
And that one with the nose cleprest,7 who close 
In counsel seems with him of gentle look,s 
Flying expired, withering the lily's flower. 
Look there, how he cloth knock against his breast. 
The other ye behold, who for his cheek 
Makes of one hand a couch, with frequent sighs. 
They are the father and the father-in-law 
Of Gallia's bane: 9 his vicious life they know 
And foul; thence comes the grief that rends them thus. 
"He, so robust of limb,IO who measure keeps 
In song with him of feature prominent,11 
With every virtue bore his girdle braced. 
5 "That country." Bohemia. ransomed; for which he was much 
6 "Ottocar:' King of Bohemia, who blamed and held in great abhorrence. 
was killed in the battle of Marchfie1d, And from thenceforth the realm of 
fought with Rodolph, August 26, 1278. France fell evermore into degradation and 
Wenceslaus II, his son, who succeeded decline. And it is observable that between 
him in the Kingdom of Bohemia, died in the taking of Acre and this seizure in 
1305. The latter is again taxed with lux- France, the merchants of Florence re- 
ury in the Paradise, xix. 123. ceived great damage and ruin of their 
1 "That one with the nose deprest." property." 
Philip III, of France, father of Philip IV. 10 "He, so robust of limb." Peter III, 
He died in 1285, at Perpignan, in his re- called the Great, King of Arragon, who 
treat from Arragon. died in 1285, leaving four sons, Alonzo, 
8 "Him of gentle look." Henry of James, Frederick, and Peter. The two for- 
Navarre, father of Jane, married to Philip mer succeeded him in the Kingdom of 
IV, of France, whom Dante calls "mal di Arragon, and Frederick in that of Sicily. 
Francia."-"Gallia's bane." 11 "Him of feature prominent." "Dal 
9 "Gallia's bane." G. Villani, lib. vii. maschio naso"-CCwith the masculine 
cap. cxlvi, speaks with equal resentment nose." Charles I, King of Naples, Count 
of Philip IV. "In 1291, on the night of of Anjou, and brother of St. Louis. He 
the calends of May, Philip Ie Bel, King of died in 1284. The annalist of Florence 
France, by advice of Biccio and Musciatto remarks that "there had been no sov- 
Franzesi, ordered all the Italians, who ereign of the house of France, since the 
were in his country and realm, to be time of Charlemagne, by whom Charles 
seized, under pretence of seizing the was surpassed either in military renown 
money-lenders, but thus he caused the and prowess, or in the loftiness of his 
good merchants also to be seized and understanding." 



174 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VII 


And if that stripling/ 2 who behind him sits, 
King after him had lived, his virtue then 
From vessel to like vessel had been pour'd; 
Which may not of the other heirs be said. 
By James and Frederick his realms are held; 
Neither the better heritage obtains. 
Rarely into the branches of the tree 
Doth human worth mount up: and so ordains 
He who bestows it, that as His free gift 
It may be call'd. To Charles 13 my words apply 
No less than to his brother in song; 
Which Pouille and Provence now with grief confess. 
So much that plant degenerates from its seed, 
As, more than Beatrix and Margaret, 
Costanza 14 still boasts of her valorous spouse. 
"Behold the King of simple life and plain, 
Harry of England,15 si tting there alone: 
He through his branches better issue 16 spreads. 
"That one, who, on the ground, beneath the rest, 
Sits lowest, yet his gaze directs aloft, 
Is William, that brave Marquis,17 for whose cause, 
The deed of Alexandria and his war 
Makes Montferrat and Canavese weep." 


12 "That stripling." Either (as the old 
commentators suppose) Alonzo III, King 
of Arragon, the eldest son of Peter III, 
who died in 1291, at the age of 27; or, 
according to Venturi, Peter, the youngest 
son. The former was a young prince of 
virtue sufficient to have justified the 
culogium and the hopes of Dante. 
13 "To Charles." "AI Nausto"--Charles 
II, King of Naples, is DO less inferior to 
his father, Chicles I, than James and 
Frederick to theirs, Peter III. 
14 "Costanza." Widow of Peter III. 
She has been already mentioned in the 
third Canto, v. 112. By Beatrix and 
Margaret are probably meant two of the 
daughters of Raymond Berenger, Count 
of Provence; the latter married to St. 
Louis of France, the former to his brother 
Charles of Anjou, King of Naples. See 
Paradise, Canto vi. 135. Dante therefore 
considers Peter as the most illustrious of 
the three monarchs. 


15 "Harry of England." Henry III. The 
contemporary annalist speaks of this king 
in similar terms. G. Villani, lib. v. cap. iv. 
"From Richard was born Henry, who 
reigned after him, who was a plain man 
of good faith, but of little courage." 
16 "Better issue." Edward I, of whose 
glory our Poet was perhaps a witness, in 
his visit to England. "From the said 
Henry was born the good King Edward, 
who reigns in our times, who has done 
great things, whereof we shall make men- 
tion in due place."--G. Villani, ibid. 
17 "William, that brave Marquis." Wil- 
liam, Marquis of Montferrat, was treach- 
erously seized by his own subjects, at 
Alessandria in Lombardy, A. D. 1290, and 
ended his life in prison. A war ensued 
between the people of Alessandria and 
those of Montferrat and the Canavese, 
now part of Piedmont. 



CANTO VIII 


PURGATORY 


175 


CANTO VIII 


ARGUMENT.-Two Angels, with flaming swords broken at the points, descend to 
keep watch over the valley, into which Virgil and Dante entering by desire of Sor- 
dello, our Poe
 meets with joy the spirit of Nino, the judge of Gallura, one who was 
well known to him. Meantime three exceedingly bright stars appear near the pole, 
and a serpent creeps subtly into the valley, but flees at hearing the approach of those 
angelic guards. Lastly, Conrad Malaspina predicts to our Poet his future banishment. 
N OW was the hour that wakens fond desire 
In men at sea, and melts their thoughtful heart 
Who in the morn have bid sweet friends farewell, 
And pilgrim newly on his road with love 
Thrills, if he hear the vesper bell from far, 
That seems to mourn for the expiring day: 
When I, no longer taking heed to hear, 
Began, with wonder, from those spirits to mark 
One risen from its seat, which with its hand 
Audience implored. Both palms it join'd and raised, 
Fixing its stedfast gaze toward the east, 
As telling God, "I care for naught beside." 
"Te Lucis Ante," 1 so devoutly then 
Came from its lip, and in so soft a strain, 
That all my sense in ravishment was lost. 
And the rest after, softly and devout, 
Follow'd through all the hymn, with upward gaze 
Directed to the bright supernal wheels. 
Here, reader! for the truth make thine eyes keen: 
For of so subtle texture is this veil, 
That thou with ease mayst pass it through unmark'd. 
I saw that gentle band silently next 
Look up, as if in expectation held, 
Pale and in lowly guise; and, from on high, 
I saw, forth issuing descend beneath, 
Two Angels, with two Bame-illumined swords, 
Broken and mutilated of their points. 
Green as the tender leaves but newly born, 
Their vesture was, the which, by wings as green 
Beaten, they drew behind them, fann'd in air. 
A little over us one took his stand; 


1 liTe lucls ante terminttm/' the first verse of the hymn in the last part of the 
sacred office, termed "complin." 



17 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
The other lighted on the opposing hill; 
So that the troop were in the midst contain'd. 
Well I descried the whiteness on their heads; 
But in their visages the dazzled eye 
Was lost, as faculty that by too much 
Is overpower'd. "From Mary's bosom both 
Are come," exclaim'd Sordello, "as a guard 
Over the vale, 'gainst him, who hither tends, 
The serpent." Whence, not knowing by which path 
He came, I turn'd me round; and closely press'd, 
All frozen, to my leader's trusted side. 
Sordello paused not: "To the valley now 
(For it is time) let us descend; and hold 
Converse with those great shadows: haply much 
Their sight may please ye." Only three steps down 
Methinks I measured, ere I was beneath, 
And noted one who look'd as with desire 
To know me. Time was now that air grew dim; 
Yet not so dim, that, 'twixt his eyes and mine, 
It clear'd not up what was conceal'd before. 
Mutuall y toward each other we advanced. 
Nino, thou courteous judgel 2 what joy I felt, 
When I perceived thou wert not with the bad. 
No salutation kind on either part 
Was left unsaid. He then inquired: "How long, 
Since thou arrived'st at the mountain's foot, 
Over the distant waves?"-"Oh!" answer'd I, 
"Through the sad seats of woe this morn I came; 
And still in my first life, thus journeying on, 
The other strive to gain." Soon as they heard 
My words, he and Sordello backward drew, 
As suddenly amazed. To Virgil one, 
The other to a spirit turn'd, who near 
Was seated, crying: "Conrad 1 3 up with speed: 
Come, see what of His grace high God hath will'd." 
Then turning round to me: "By that rare mark 
Of honour, which thou owest to Him, who hides 
So deeply His first cause it hath no ford; 


CANTO VIII 


2 Nino di Gallura de' Visconti, nephew 
to Count U golino de' Ghcrardeschi, and 


betrayed by him. 
3 Father to Marcello Malaspina. 



CANTO VIII 


PURGATORY 


177 


When thou shalt be beyond the vast of waves, 
Tell my Giovanna,4 that for me she call 
There, where reply to innocence is made. 
Her mother,S I believe, loves me no more; 
Since she has changed the white and wimpled folds,6 
Which she is doom'd once more with grief to wish. 
By her it easily may be perceived, 
How long in woman lasts the flame of love, 
If sight and touch do not relume it oft. 
For her so fair a burial will not make 
The viper,7 which calls Milan to the field, 
As had been made by shrill Gallura's bird." 8 
He spoke, and in his visage took the stamp 
Of that right zeal, which with due temperature 
Glows in the bosom. My insatiate eyes 
Meanwhile to Heaven had travel'd, even there 
Where the bright stars are slowest, as a wheel 
Nearest the axle; when my guide inquired: 
"What there aloft, my son, has caught thy gaze?" 
I answer'd: "The three torches,9 with which here 
The pole is all on fire." He then to me: 
"The four resplendent stars, thou saw'st this morn, 
Are there beneath; and these, risen in their stead." 
While yet he spoke, Sordello to himself 
Drew him, and cried: "Lo there our enemy!" 
And with his hand pointed that way to look. 
Along the side, where barrier none arose 
Around the little vale, a serpent lay, 
Such haply as gave Eve the bitter food. 
Between the grass and flowers, the evil snake 
Came on, reverting oft his lifted head; 
"The daughter of Nino, and wife of than a certain shame which appears, how- 
Riccardo da Camino, of Trevigi. ever unreasonably, to have attached to a 
5 uHer mother." Beatrice, Marchioness second marriage. 
of Este, wife of Nino, and after his death 9 The three evangelical virtues, Faith, 
married to Galeazzo de' Visconti of Milan. Hope, and Charity, are supposed to rise 
6 The weeds of widowhood. in the evening, to denote their belonging 
7 The arms of Galeazzo and the ensign to the contemplative; as the four others 
of the Milanese. are made to rise in the morning to signify 
8 The cock was the ensi
n of Gallura, their belonging to the active life: or per- 
Nino's province in Sardinia. I t is not haps it may mark the succession, in order 
known whether Beatrice had any further of time, of the Gospel to the heathen 
cause to regret her nuptials with Galeazzo, system of morality. 



17 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VIII 


And, as a beast that smooths its polish'd coat, 
Licking his back. I saw not, nor can tell, 
How those celestial falcons from their seat 
Moved, but in motion each one well descried. 
Hearing the air cut by their verdant plumes, 
The serpent fled; and, to their stations, back 
The Angels up return'd with equal flight. 
The spirit, (who to Nino, when he call'd, 
Had come), from viewing me with fixed ken, 
Through all that conflict, loosen'd not his sight. 
"So may the lamp, which leads thee up on high, 
Find, in thy free resolve, of wax so much, 
As may suffice thee to the enamel'd height." 
It thus began: "If any certain news 
Of Valdimagra and the neighbour part 
Thou know'st, tell me, who once was mighty there. 
They call'd me Conrad Malaspina; not 
That old one, but from him I sprang. The love 
I bore my people is now here refined." 
" I d ." I ' d '" I 
n your omalns, answer, ne er was . 
But, through all Europe, where do those men dwell, 
To whom their glory is not manifest? 
The fame, that honours your illustrious house, 
Proclaims the nobles, and proclaims the land; 
So that he knows it, who was never there. 
I swear to you, so may my upward route 
Prosper, your honoured nation not impairs 
The value of her coffer and her sword. 
Nature and use give her such privilege, 
That while the world is twisted from his course 
By a bad head, she only walks aright, 
And has the evil way in scorn." He then: 
"Now pass thee on: seven times the tired sun 10 
Revisits not the couch, which with four feet 
The forked Aries covers, ere that kind 
Opinion shall be nail'd into thy brain 
10 "The sun shall not enter into the shalt there meet with." Dante was hos- 
constellation of Aries seven times more, pitably received by the Marchese Marcello, 
before thou shalt have still better cause or Morello Malaspina, during his banish- 
for the good opinion thou expressest of mcnt, A. D. 1307. 
Valdimagra, in the kind reception thou 



CANTO IX 


PURGATORY 


179 


With stronger nails than other's speech can drive; 
If the sure course of judgment be not stay'd." 


CANTO IX 


ARGUMENT.-Dante is carried up the mountain, asleep and dreaming, by Lucia; and, 
on awakening, finds himself, two hours after sunrise, with Virgil, near the gate of 
Purgatory, through which they are admitted by the Angel deputed by St. Peter to 
keep it. 


N OW the fair consort of Tithonus old, 
Arisen from her mate's beloved arms, 
Look'd palely o'er the eastern cliff; her brow, 
Lucent with jewels, glitter'd, set in sign 
Of that chill animal,1 who with his train 
Smites fearful nations: and where then we were, 
Two steps of her ascent the night had past; 
And now the third was closing up its \ving,2 
When I, who had so much of Adam with Ine, 
Sank down upon the grass, o'ercome with sleep, 
There where all five 3 were seated. In that hour, 
When near the dawn the swallow her sad lay, 
Remembering haply ancient grief,4 renews; 
And when our minds, more wanderers from the flesh, 
And less by thought restrain'd, are, as 't were, full 
Of holy divination in their dreams; 
Then, in a vision, did I seem to view 
A golden-feather'd eagle in the sky, 
With open wings, and hovering for descent; 
And I was in that place, me thought, from whence 
Young GanYlnede, from his associates 'reft, 
Was snatch'd aloft to the high consistory. 
"Perhaps," thought I within me, "here alone 
He strikes his quarry, and elsewhere disdains 


1 "Of that chill animal." The scorpion. 
2 "The third was closing up its wing." 
The night being divided into four watches, 
I think he may mean that the third was 
past, and the fourth and last was begun, 
so that there might be some faint glim- 
mering of morning twilight; and not 
merely, as Lombardi supposes, that the 
third watch was drawing toward its close, 


which would sti11leave an insurmountable 
difficulty in the first verse. 
3 "All five." Virgil, Dante, Sordello, 
Nino, and Corrado Malaspina. 
4 "Remembering haply ancient 
rief." 
Progne having been changed into a 
swallow after the outrage done her by 
Tereus. 



180 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IX 


To pounce upon the prey." Therewith, it seem'd, 
A little wheeling in his aëry tour, 
Terrible as the lightning, rush'd he down, 
And snatch'd me upward even to the fire. 
There both, I thought, the eagle and Inyself 
Did burn; and so intense the imagined flames, 
That needs my sleep was broken off. As erst 
Achilles shook himself, and round him roll'd 
His waken'd eyeballs, wondering where he was, 
Whenas his mother had froln Chiron fled 
To Scyros, with him sleeping in her arms; 
There whence the Greeks did after sunder him; 
E'en thus I shook me, soon as from my face 
The slumber parted, turning deadly pale, 
Like one ice-struck with dread. Sole at my side 
My comfort stood: and the bright sun was now 
More than two hours aloft: and to the sea 
My looks were turn'd. "Fear not," my master cried, 
"Assured we are at happy point. Thy strength 
Shrink not, but rise dilated. Thou art come 
To Purgatory now. Lo! there the cliff 
That circling bounds it. Lo! the entrance there, 
Where it doth seem disparted. Ere the dawn 
Usher'd the day-light, when thy wearied soul 
Slept in thee, o'er the flowery vale beneath 
A lady came, and thus be spake me: 'I 
Am Lucia. 5 Suffer me to take this man, 
Who slumbers. Easier so his way shall speed.' 
Sordello and the other gentle shapes 
Tarrying, she bare thee up: and, as day shone, 
This summit reach'd: and I pursued her steps. 
Here did she place thee. First, her lovely eyes 
That open entrance show'd me; then at once 
She vanish'd with thy sleep." Like one, 'v hose doubts 
Are chased by certainty, and terror turn'd 
To comfort on discovery of the truth, 
Such was the change in me: and as my guide 
Beheld me fearless, up along the cliff 
He moved, and I behind him, toward the height. 
S "Lucia." See Hell, c. ii 97 and Paradise, c. xxxii. 123. 



CANTO IX 


PURGATORY 


181 


Reader! thou markest how my theme doth rise; 
Nor wonder therefore, if more artfully 
I prop the structure. Nearer now we drew, 
Arrived whence, in that part, where first a breach 
As of a wall appear'd, I could descry 
A portal, and three steps beneath, that led 
For inlet there, of different colour each; 
And one who watch'd, but spake not yet a \vord. 
As more and more mine eye did stretch its view, 
I mark'd him seated on the highest step, 
In visage such, as past my power to bear. 
Grasp'd in his hand, a naked sword glanced back 
The rays so toward me, that loft in vain 
My sight directed. "Speak, from whence ye stand;" 
He cried: "What would ye? Where is your escort? 
Take heed your coming upward harm ye not." 
"A heavenly dame, not skill-less of these things," 
Replied the instructor, "told us, even now, 
'Pass that way: here the gate is.' "-"And may she, 
Befriending, prosper your ascent," resumed 
The courteous keeper of the gate: "Come then 
Before our steps." We straightway thither came. 
The lowest stair 6 was marble white, so smooth 
And polish'd, that therein my mirror'd form 
Distinct I saw. The next of hue more dark 
Than sablest grain, a rough and singed block, 
Crack'd lengthwise and across. The third, that lay 
Massy above, seem'd porphyry, that flamed 
Red as the life-blood spouting from a vein. 
On this God's angel either foot sustain'd, 
Upon the threshold seated, which appear'd 
A rock of diamond. Up the trinal steps 
My leader cheerly drew me. "Ask," said he, 
"With humble heart, that he unbar the bolt." 
Piously at his holy feet devolved 
I cast me, praying him for pity's sake 
That he would open to me; but first fell 


6 The white step suggests the con- 
science of the penitent reflecting his of- 
fences; the burnt and cracked one, his 


contrition on their account; the porphyry, 
the fervor with which he resolves on the 
future pursuit of piety and virtue. 



182 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IX 


Thrice on my bosom prostrate. Seven times 7 
The letter, that denotes the inward stain, 
He, on my forehead, with the blunted point 
Of his drawn sword, inscribed. And "Look," he cried, 
"When enter'd, that thou wash these scars away." 
Ashes, or earth ta' en dry out of the ground, 
Were of one colour with the robe he wore. 
From underneath that vestment forth he drew 
Two keys, 8 of metal twain: the one was gold, 
Its fellow silver. With the pallid first, 
And next the burnish'd, he so ply' d the gate, 
As to content me well. "Whenever one 
Faileth of these, that in the key-hole straight 
It turn not, to this alley then expect 
Access in vain." Such were the words he spake. 
"One is more precious: 9 but the other needs 
Skill and sagacity, large share of each, 
Ere its good task to disengage the knot 
Be worthily perform'd. From Peter these 
I hold, of him instructed that I err 
Rather in opening, than in keeping fast; 
So but the suppliant at my feet implore." 
Then of that hallow'd gate he thrust the door, 
Exclaiming, "Enter, but this warning hear: 
He forth again departs who looks behind." 
As in the hinges of that sacred ward 
The swivels turn'd, sonorous metal strong, 
Harsh was the grating; nor so surlil y 
Roar'd the Tarpeian, when by force bereft 
Of good Metell us, thenceforth from his loss 
To leanness doom'd. Attentively I turn'd, 
Listening the thunder that first issued forth; 
And "We praise thee, a God," me thought I heard, 


1"S even times." Seven P's, to denote 
the seven sins (Peccata) of which he was 
to be cleansed in his passage through 
Purgatory. 
8 "Two keys.') Lombardi remarks that 
painters have usually drawn St. Peter 
with two keys, the one of gold and the 
other of silver; but that Niccolo Ale- 
manni, in his Dissertation de Parietinis 


Lateranensibus, produces instances of his 
being represented with one key, and with 
three. We have here, however, not St. 
Peter, but an angel deputed by him. 
9 The golden key denotes the divine 
authority by which the priest absolves 
the sinners; the silver, the learning and 
judgment requisite for the due discharge 
of that office. 



CANTO X 


PURGATORY 


18 3 


In accents blended with sweet melody. 
The strains came o'er mine ear, e'en as the sound 
Of choral voices, that in solemn chant 
With organ lO mingle, and now high and clear 
Come swelling, now float indistinct away. 


CANTO X 


ARGUMENT.-Being admitted at the gate of Purgatory, our Poets ascend a winding 
path up the rock, till they reach an open and level space that extends each way round 
the mountain. On the side that rises, and which is of white marble, are seen artfully 
engraven many stories of humility, which whilst they are contemplating, there ap- 
proach the souls of those who expiate the sin of pride, and who are bent down be- 
neath the weight of heavy stones. 



 EN we had passed the threshold of the gate, 
(Which the soul's ill affection doth disuse, 
Making the crooked seem the straighter path,) 
I heard its closing sound. Had mine eyes turn'd, 
For that offence what plea might have avail'd? 
We mounted up the riven rock, that wound 
On either side alternate, as the wave 
Flies and advances. "Here some little art 
Behoves us," said my leader, "that our steps 
Observe the varying flexure of the path." 
Thus we so slowly sped, that with cleft orb 
The moon once more 0' erhangs her watery couch, 
Ere \ve that strait have threaded. But when free, 
We came, and open, \vhere the mount above 
One solid mass retires; I spent with toil, 
And both uncertain of the way, we stood, 
Upon a plain more lonesome than the roads 
That traverse desert wilds. From whence the brink 
Borders upon vacuity, to foot 
Of the steep bank that rises still, the space 
Had measured thrice the stature of a man: 
And, distant as mine eye could wing its flight, 
To leftward no\v and now to right despatch'd, 
That cornice equal in extent appear'd. 


10 "Organ." Organs were used in Italy 
as early as in the sixth century. If I 
remember rightly there is a passage in 


the Emperor Julian's wntings, which 
shows that the organ was not unknown 
in his time. 



18 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO X 


Not yet our feet had on that summit moved, 
When I discover'd that the bank, around, 
\Vhose proud uprising all ascent denied, 
Was marble white; and so exactly wrought 
With quaintest sculpture, that not there alone 
Had Polycletus, but e'en nature's self 
Been shamed. The Angel (who came down to earth 
With tidings of the peace so many years 
Wept for in vain, that oped the heavenly gates 
From their long interdict) before us seem'd, 
In a sweet act, so sculptured to the life, 
He look'd no silent image. One had sworn 
He had said "Hail!" for she was imaged there, 
By whom the key did open to God's love; 
And in her act as sensibly imprest 
That word, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord," 
As figure seal'd on wax. "Fix not thy mind 
On one place only," said the guide beloved, 
Who had me near him on that part where lies 
The heart of man. My sight forthwith I turn'd. 
And mark'd, behind the Virgin Mother's form, 
Upon that side where he that moved me stood, 
Another story graven on the rock. 
I past athwart the bard, and drew me near, 
That it might stand more aptly for my view. 
There, in the self-same marble, were engraved 
The cart and kine, drawing the sacred ark, 
That from unbidden office awes mankind. 
Before it came much people; and the whole 
Parted in seven quires. One sense cried "Nay," 
Another , "Yes, they sing." Like doubt ar8se 
Betwixt the eye and smell, from the curl'd fume 
Of incense breathing up the well-\vrought toil. 
Preceding the blest vessel, onward came 
With light dance leaping, girt in humble guise, 
Israel's sweet harper: in that hap he seem'd 
Less, and yet more, than kingly. Opposite 
At a great palace, from the lattice forth 
Look'd Michol, like a lady full of scorn 
And sorrow . To behold the tablet next, 



CANTO X 


PURGATORY 


18 5 


Which, at the back of Michol, whitely shone, 
I moved me. There, was storied on the rock 
The exalted glory of the Roman prince, 
Whose mighty worth moved Gregory1 to earn 
His mighty conquest, Trajan the Emperor. 
A widow at his bridle stood, attired 
In tears and mourning. Round about them troop'd 
Full throng of knights; and overhead in gold 
The eagles floated, struggling with the \vind. 
The wretch appear'd amid all these to say: 
"Grant vengeance, Sire! for, woe be shrew this heart, 
My son is murder'd." He replying seem'd: 
"Wait now till I return." And she, as one 
Made hasty by her grief: "0 Sire! if thou 
Dost not return?"-"Where I am, who then is, 
May right thee."-"What to thee is other's good, 
If thou neglect thy own?"-"Now comfort thee;" 
At length he answers. "It beseemeth well 
My duty be perform'd, ere I move hence: 
So justice wills; and pity bids me stay." 
He, whose ken nothing new surveys, produced 
That visible speaking, new to us and strange, 
The like not found on earth. Fondly I gazed 
Upon those patterns of meek humbleness, 
Shapes yet more precious for their artist's sake; 
When "Lo!" the poet whisper'd, "where this way 
(But slack their pace) a multitude advance, 
These to the lofty steps shall guide us on." 
Mine eyes, though bent on view of novel sights, 
Their loved allurement, were not slow to turn. 
Reader! I would not that amazed thou miss 
Of thy good purpose, hearing how just God 
Decrees our debts be cancel'd. Ponder not 
The form of suffering. Think on what succeeds: 
. Think that, at worst, beyond the mighty doom 
It cannot pass. "Instructor!" I began, 
"What I see hither tending, bears no trace 
Of human semblance, nor of aught beside 


I "Gregory." St. Gregory's prayers are said to have delivered Trajan from hell. 
See Paradise, Canto xx. 40. 



186 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XI 


That my foil'd sight can guess." He answering thus: 
"So curb'd to earth, beneath their heavy terms 
Of torment stoop they, that mine eye at first 
Struggled as thine. But look intently thither; 
And disentangle with thy laboring view, 
What, underneath those stones, approacheth: now, 
E'en now, mayst thou discern the pangs of each." 
Christians and proud! 0 poor and wretched ones! 
That, feeble in the mind's eye, lean your trust 
Upon un staid perverseness: know ye not 
That we are worms, yet made at last to form 
The winged insect,2 imp'd with angel plumes, 
That to Heaven's justice unobstructed soars? 
Why buoy ye up aloft your unfledged souls? 
Abortive then and shapeless ye remain, 
Like the untimely embryon of a worm. 
As, to support incumbent floor or roof, 
F or corbel, is a figure sometimes seen, 
That crumples up its knees unto its breast; 
With the feign'd posture, stirring ruth unfeign'd 
In the beholder's fancy; so I saw 
These fashion'd, when I noted well their guise. 
Each, as his back was laden, came indeed 
Or more or less contracted; and it seem'd 
As he, who show'd most patience in his look, 
Wailing exclaim'd: "I can endure no more." 


CANTO XI 


ARGUMENT.-After a prayer uttered by the spirits, who were spoken of in the last 
Canto, Virgil inquires the way upward, and is answered by one, who declares himself 
to have been Omberto, son of the Count of Santafiore. Next our Poet distinguishes 
Oderigi, the illuminator, who discourses on the vanity of worldly fame, and points out 
to him the soul of Provenzano Sa} vani. 
O THOU Almighty Father! who dost make 
The heavens Thy dwelling, not in bounds con- 
fined, 
But that, with love intenser, there Thou view'st 
Thy primal effluence; hallow'd be Thy name: 
Join, each created being, to extol 
2 "The winged insect." The butterfly was an ancient and well-known symbol of the 
human soul. 



CANTO XI 


PURGATORY 
Thy might; for worthy humblest thanks and praise 
Is Thy blest Spirit. May Thy kingdom's peace 
Come unto us; for we, unless it come, 
With all our striving, thither tend in vain. 
As, of their will, the Angels unto Thee 
Tender meet sacrifice, circling Thy throne 
With loud hosannas; so of theirs be done 
By saintly men on earth. Grant us, this day, 
Our daily manna, without which he roams 
Through this rough desert retrograde, who most 
Toils to advance his steps. As we to each 
Pardon the evil done us, pardon Thou 
Benign, and of our merit take no count. 
'Gainst the old adversary, prove Thou not 
Our virtue, easily subdued; but free 
From his incitements, and defeat his wiles. 
This last petition, dearest Lord! is made · 
Not for ourselves; since that were needless now; 
But for their sakes who after us remain." 
Thus for themselves and us good speed imploring, 
Those spirits went beneath a weight like that 
We sometimes feel in dreams; all, sore beset, 
But with unequal anguish; wearied all; 
Round the first circuit; purging as they go 
The world's gross darkness off. In our behoof 
If their vows still be offer'd, what can here 
For them be vow'd and done by such, whose wills 
Have root of goodness in them? Well beseems 
That we should help them wash away the stains 
They carried hence; that so, made pure and light, 
They may spring upward to the starry spheres. 
"Aht so may mercy-temper'd justice rid 
Your burdens speedily; that ye have power 
To stretch your wing, which e'en to your desire 
Shall lift you; as ye show us on which hand 
Toward the ladder leads the shortest way. 
And if there be more passages than one, 
Instruct us of that easiest to ascend: 
For this man, who comes with me, and bears yet 
The charge of fleshly raiment Adam left him, 


18 7 



188 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XI 


Despite his better will, but slowly mounts." 
From whom the answer came unto these words, 
Which my guide spake, appear'd not; but 'twas said: 
"Along the bank to rightward come with us; 
And ye shall find a pass that mocks not toil 
Of living man to climb: and were it not 
That I am hinder'd by the rock, where\vith 
This arrogant neck is tamed, whence needs I stoop 
My visage to the ground; him, who yet lives, 
Whose name thou speak'st not, him I fain would view; 
To mark if e'er I knew him, and to crave 
His pity for the fardel that I bear. 
I was of Latium;1 of a Tuscan born, 
A mighty one: Aldobrandesco's name 
My sire's, I know not if ye e'er have heard. 
Myoid blood and forefathers' gallant deeds 
Made me so haughty, that I clean forgot 
The COlnmon mother; and to such excess 
Wax'd in my scorn of all men, that I fell, 
Fell therefore; by what fate, Siena's sons. 
Each child in Campagnatico, can tell. 
I am Omberto: not me, only, pride 
Hath injured, but my kindred all involved 
In mischief with her. Here my lot ordains 
Under this weight to groan, till I appease 
God's angry justice, since I did it not 
Amongst the living, here amongst the dead." 
Listening I bent my visage down: and one 
(Not he who spake) twisted beneath the weight 
That urged him, saw me, knew me straight, and call'd; 
Holding his eyes with difficulty fix'd 
Intent upon me, stooping as I went 
Companion of their way. "0 I" I exclaim'd, 
"Art thou not Oderigi?2 art not thou 
Agobbio's glory, glory of that art 
Which they of Paris call the limner's skill?" 
"Brother!" said he, "with tints, that gayer smile, 
l e 'l was of Latium." Omberto, the son such a pitch of fury against him that he 
of Guglielmo Aldobrandesco, Count of was murdered by them at Campagnatico. 
Santafiore, in the territory of Siena. His 2 The illuminator, or miniature painter, 
arrogance provoked his countrymen to a friend of Giotto and Dante. 



CANTO XI 


PURGATORY 


18 9 


Bolognian Franco's3 pencil lines the leaves. 
His all the honour now; my light obscured. 
In truth, I had not been thus courteous to him 
The whilst I lived, through eagerness of zeal 
For that pre-eminence my heart was bent on. 
Here, of such pride, the forfeiture is paid. 
Nor were I even here, if, able still 
To sin, I had not turn'd me unto God. 
o powers of man! how vain your glory, nipt 
E' en in its height of verdure, if an age 
Less bright succeed not. Cimabue thought 
To lord it over painting's field; and no\v 
The cry is Giotto's,4 and his name eclipsed. 
Thus hath one Guido from the otherS snatch'd 
The letter'd prize: and he, perhaps, is born, 
Who shall drive either from their nest. The noise 
Of worldly fame is but a blast of wind, · 
That blows from diverse points, and shifts its name, 
Shifting the point it blows from. Shalt thou more 
Live in the mouths of mankind, if thy flesh 
Part shrivel'd from thee, than if thou hadst died 
Before the coral and the pap were left; 
Or e'er some thousand years have past? and that 
Is, to eternity compared, a space 
Briefer than is the twinkling of an eye 
To the heaven's slowest orb. He there, who treads 
So leisurely before me, far and wide 
Through Tuscany resounded once; and no\v 
Is in Siena scarce with whispers named: 
There was he sovereign, when destruction caught 
The maddening rage of Florence, in that day 
Proud as she now is loathsome. Your renown 
Is as the herb, whose hue doth come and go; 


3 Franco of Bologna, who is said to 
have been a pupil of Oderigi's. 
4 "The cry is Giotto's." In Giotto we 
have a proof at how early a period the 
fine arts were encouraged in Italy. His 
talents were discovered by Cimabue, while 
he was tending sheep for his father in the 
neighborhood of Florence, and he was 
afterward patronized by Pope Benedict 


XI and Robert, King of Naples; and en- 
joyed the society and friendship of Dante, 
whose likeness he has transmitted to pas. 
terity. 
5 Guido Cavalcanti, the friend of our 
Poet, had eclipsed the literary fame of 
Guido Guinicelli. See also the twenty. 
sixth Canto. 



19 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XI 


And his might withers it, by whom it sprang 
Crude from the lap of earth." I thus to him: 
"True are thy sayings: to my heart they breathe 
The kindly spirit of meekness, and allay 
What tumours rankle there. But who is he, 
Of whom thou spakest but now ? "-"This," he replied, 
"Is Provenzano. He is here, because 
He reach'd with grasp presumptuous, at the sway 
Of all Siena. Thus he still hath gone, 
Thus goeth never-resting, since he died. 
Such is the acquittance render'd back of him, 
Who, in the mortal life, too much hath dared." 
I then: "If soul, that to life's verge delays 
Repentance, linger in that lower space, 
Nor hither mount, (unless good prayers befriend), 
Or ever time, long as it lived, be past; 
How chanced admittance was vouchsafed to him?" 
"When at his glory's topmost height," said he, 
"Respect of dignity all cast aside, 
Freely he fix'd him on Siena's plain, 
A suitor 6 to redeem his suffering friend, 
Who languish'd in the prison-house of Charles; 
Nor, for his sake, refused through every vein 
To tremble. More I will not say; and dark, 
I know, my words are; but thy neighbours soon 
Shall help thee to a comment on the text. 
This is the work, that from these limits freed him." 


6 Provenzano Salvani, for the sake of 
one of his friends who was detained in 
captivity by Charles I of Sicily, personally 
supplicated the people of Siena to con- 
tribute the ransom required by the Kin,
; 


and this act of self-abasement atoned for 
his general ambition. He fell at Vald' 
Elsa, where the Florentines discomfited 
the Sienese in June, 1269. 



CANTO XII 


PURGATORY 


19 1 


CANTO XII 


ARGUMENT.-Dante, beinß desired by Virgil to look down on the ground which 
they are treading, observes that it is wrought over with imagery exhibiting various 
instances of pride recorded in history and fable. They leave the first cornice, and 
are ushered to the next by an angel who points out the way. 


W ITH equal pace, as oxen in the yoke, 
I, with that laden spirit, journey'd on, 
Long as the mild instructor suffer'd me; 
But, when he bade me quit him, and proceed, 
(For "Here," said he, "behoves with sail and oars 
Each man, as best he may, push on his bark,") 
Upright, as one disposed for speed, I raised 
My body, still in thought submissive bow'd. 
I now my leader's track not loth pursued; 
And each had shown how light we fared along, 
When thus he warned me: "Bend thine eyesight down, 
For thou, to ease the way, shalt find it good 
To ruminate the bed beneath thy feet." 
As, in memorial of the buried, drawn 
Upon earth-level tombs, the sculptured form 
Of what was once, appears, (at sight whereof 
Tears often stream forth, by remembrance waked, 
Whose sacred stings the piteous often feel), 
So saw I there, but with more curious skill 
Of portraiture o'erwrought, whate'er of space 
F rom forth the mountain stretches. On one part 
Him I beheld, above all creatures erst 
Created noblest, lightening fall from Heaven: 
On the other side, with bolt celestial pierced, 
Briareus; cumbering earth he lay, through dint 
Of mortal ice-stroke. The Thymbræan god,l 
With Mars, I saw, and Pallas, round their sire, 
Arm'd still, and gazing on the giants' limbs 
Strewn o'er the ethereal field. Nimrod I saw: 
At foot of the stupendous work he stood, 
As if bewilder'd, looking on the crowd 
Leagued in his proud attempt on Sennaar's plain. 
o Niobe! in what a trance of woe 
1 "The Thymbræan god." Apollo. 



19 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XII 


Thee I beheld, upon that highway drawn, 
Seven sons on either side thee slain. 0 Saul! 
How ghastly didst thou look, on thine own sword 
Expiring, in Gilboa, from that hour 
Ne'er visited with rain from heaven, or dew. 
o fond Arachne! thee I also saw, 
Half spider now, in anguish, crawling up 
The unfinish'd web thou weaved'st to thy bane. 
o Rehoboam! here thy shape doth seem 
Louring no more defiance; but fear-smote, 
With none to chase him, in his chariot whirl'd. 
Was shown beside upon the solid floor, 
How dear Alcmæon forced his mother rate 
That ornament, in evil hour received: 
How, in the temple, on Sennacherib fell 
His sons, and how a corpse they left him there. 
Was shown the scath, and cruel mangling made 
By Tomyris on Cyrus, when she cried, 
"Blood thou didst thirst for: take thy fill of blood." 
Was shown how routed in the battle fled 
The Assyrians, Holofernes slain, and e'en 
The relics of the carnage. Troy I mark'd, 
In ashes and in caverns. Oh! how fallen, 
Ho\v abject, Ilion, was thy semblance there. 
What master of the pencil or the style 
Had traced the shades and lines, that might have made 
The subtlest workman wonder? Dead, the dead; 
The living seem'd alive: with clearer view, 
His eye beheld not, who beheld the truth, 
Than mine what I did tread on, while I \-vent 
Low bending. Now swell out, and with stiff necks 
Pass on, ye sons of Eve! vale not your looks, 
Lest they descry the evil of your path. 
I noted not (so busied was my thought) 
How much we now had circled of the mount; 
And of his course yet more the sun had spent; 
When he, who with still wakeful caution went, 
Admonish'd: "Raise thou up thy head: for know 
Time is not now for slow suspense. Behold, 
That way, an Angel hasting toward us. Lo, 



CANTO XII 


PURGATORY 
When duly the sixth handmaid doth return 
From service on the day . Wear thou, in look 
And gesture, seemly grace of reverent awe; 
That gladly he may forward us aloft. 
Consider that this day ne'er dawns again." 
Time's loss he had so often warn'd me 'gainst, 
I could not miss the scope at which he aim'd. 
The goodly shape approach'd us, snowy white 
In vesture, and with visage casting streams 
Of tremulous lustre like the matin star. 
His arms he open'd, then his wings; and spake: 
"Onward! the steps, behold, are near; and now 
The ascent is without difficulty gain'd." 
A scanty few are they, who, when they hear 
Such tidings, hasten. 0, ye race of men! 
Though born to soar, why suffer ye a wind 
So slight to baffle ye? He led us on 
Where the rock parted; here, against my front, 
Did beat his wings; then promised I should fare 
In safety on my way. As to ascend 
That steep, upon whose brow the chapel stands,! 
(O'er Rubaconte, looking lordly down 
On the well-guided city3), up the right 
The impetuous rise is broken by the steps 
Carved in that old and simple age, when still 
The registry4 and label rested safe; 
Thus is the acclivity relieved, which here, 
Precipitous, from the other circuit falls: 
But, on each hand, the tall cliff presses close. 
As, entering, there we turn'd, voices, in strain 
Ineffable, sang: "Blessed 5 are the poor 
In spirit." Ah! how far unlike to these 


193 


2 "The chapel stands." The church of 
San Miniato in Florence, situated on a 
height that overlooks the Arno, where it 
is crossed by the bridge Rubaconte, so 
called from Messer Rubaconte da Man- 
della, of Milan, chief magistrate of 
Florence, by whom the bridge was 
founded in 1237. [The bridge is now 
generally known as the Ponte alle Grazie. 
-Ed.] 


3 "The well-guided city." This is said 
ironically of Florence. 
4 uThe registry." In allusion to certain 
instances of fraud committed in Dante's 
time with respect to the public accounts 
and measures. 
5 uBlessed." uBlessed are the poor in 
spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of 
heaven." Matt. v. 3. 



194 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIII 


The straits of Hell: here songs to usher us, 
There shrieks of woe. We climb the holy stairs: 
And lighter to myself by far I seem'd 
Than on the plain before; whence thus I spake: 
"Say, master, of what heavy thing have I 
Been lighten'd; that scarce aught the sense of toil 
Affects me journeying?" He in few replied: 
"When sin's broad characters,6 that yet remain 
Upon thy temples, though well nigh effaced, 
Shall be, as one is, all clean razed out; 
Then shall thy feet by heartiness of \vill 
Be so o'ercome, they not alone shall feel 
No sense of labor, but delight much more 
Shall wait them, urged along their upward way." 
Then like to one, upon whose head is placed 
Somewhat he deems not of, but from the becks 
Of others, as they pass him by; his hand 
Lends therefore help to assure him, searches, finds, 
And well performs such office as the eye 
Wants power to execute; so stretching forth 
The fingers of my right hand, did I find 
Six only of the letters, which his sword, 
Who bare the keys, had traced upon my brow. 
The leader, as he mark'd mine action, smiled. 


CANTO XIII 


ARGUMENT.-They gain the second cornice, where the sin of envy is purged; and 
having proceeded a little to the right, they hear voices uttered by invisible spirits 
recounting famous examples of charity, and next behold the shades, or souls, of the 
envious clad in sackcloth, and having their eyes sewed up with an iron thread. 
Amongst these Dante finds Sapia, a Siennese lady, from whom he learns the cause of 
her being, there. 
W E reach'd the summit of the scale, and stood 
Upon the second buttress of that mount 
Which healeth him who climbs. A cornice there 
Like to the former, girdles round the hill; 
Save that its arch, with sweep less ample, bends. 
6 "Sin's broad characters." Of the seven now vanished in consequence of his hav- 
p's, that denoted the same number of ing passed the place where the sin of 
sins {Peccata} whereof he was to be pride, the chief of them, was expiated. 
cleansed (see Canto ix. 100), the first had 



CANTO XIII 


PURGATORY 


195 


Shadow, nor image there, is seen: all smooth 
The rampart and the path, reflecting naught 
But the rock's sullen hue. "If here we wait, 
For some to question," said the bard, "I fear 
Our choice may haply meet too long delay." 
Then fixedly upon the sun his eyes 
He fasten'd; made his right the central point 
From whence to move; and turn'd the left aside. 
"0 pleasant light, my confidence and hope I 
Conduct us thou," he cried, "on this new way, 
Where now I venture; leading to the bourn 
We seek. The universal world to thee 
Owes warmth and lustre. If no other cause 
Forbid, thy beams should ever be our guide." 
Far, as is measured for a mile on earth, 
In brief space had we journey'd; such prompt will 
Impell'd; and toward us flying, now were heard 
Spirits invisible, who courteously 
Unto love's table bade the welcome guest. 
The voice, that first flew by, call'd forth aloud, 
"They have no wine," so on behind us past, 
Those sounds reiterating, nor yet lost 
In the faint distance, when another came 
Crying, "I am Orestes," 1 and alike 
Wing'd its fleet way. "0 father I" I exclaim'd, 
"What tongues are these?" and as I question'd, lot 
A third exclaiming, "Love ye those have wrong'd you." 
"This circuit," said my teacher, "knots the scourge 
For envy; and the cords are therefore drawn 
By charity's correcting hand. The curb 
Is of a harsher sound; as thou shalt hear 
(If I deem rightly) ere thou reach the pass, 
Where pardon sets them free. But fix thine eyes 
Intently through the air; and thou shalt see 
A multitude before thee seated, each 
Along the shelving grot." Then more than erst 
loped mine eyes; before me view'd; and saw 
Shadows with garments dark as was the rock; 
And when we pass'd a little forth, I heard 
1 "Orestes." Alluding to his friendship with Pylades. 



19 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
A crying, "Blessed Mary! pray for us, 
Michael and Peter I all ye saint! y host I" 
I do not think there walks on earth this day 
Man so remorseless, that he had not yearn'd 
With pity at the sight that next I saw. 
Mine eyes a load of sorrow teem'd, when now 
I stood so near them, that their semblances 
Came clearly to my view. Of sackcloth vile 
Their covering seem'd; and, on his shoulder, one 
Did stay another, leaning; and alliean'd 
Against the cliff. E'en thus the blind and poor, 
Near the confessionals, to crave an alms, 
Stand, each his head upon his fellow's sunk; 
So most to stir compassion, not by sound 
Of words alone, but that which moves not less, 
The sight of misery. And as never beam 
Of noon-day visiteth the eyeless man, 
E'en so was heaven a niggard unto these 
Of his fair light: for, through the orbs of all, 
A thread of wire, impiercing, knits them up, 
As for the taming of a haggard hawk. 
It were a wrong, methought, to pass and look 
On others, yet myself the while unseen. 
To my sage counsel therefore did I turn. 
He knew the meaning of the mute appeal, 
Nor waited for my questioning, but said: 
"Speak; and be brief, be subtile in thy words." 
On that part of the cornice, whence no rim 
Engarlands its steep fall, did Virgil come; 
On the other side me were the spirits, their cheeks 
Bathing devout with penitential tears, 
That through the dread impalement forced away. 
I turn'd me to them, and "0 shades!" said I, 
"Assured that to your eyes unveil'd shall shine 
The lofty light, sole object of your wish, 
So may Heaven's grace clear whatsoe'er of foam 
Floats turbid on the conscience, that thenceforth 
The stream of mind roll limpid from its source; 
As ye declare (for so shall ye impart 
A boon I dearly prize) if any soul 


CANTO XIII 



CANTO XIII 


PURGATORY 
Of Latium dwell among ye: and perchance 
That soul may profit, if I learn so much." 
"My brother! we are, each one, citizens 
Of one true city.2 Any, thou wouldst say, 
Who lived a stranger in Italia's land." 
So heard I answering, as appear'd, a voice 
That onward came some space from whence I stood. 
A spirit I noted, in whose look was mark'd 
Expectance. Ask ye how? The chin was raised 
As in one reft of sight. "Spirit," said I, 
"Who for thy rise art tutoring, (if thou be 
That which didst answer to me), or by place, 
Or name, disclose thyself, that I may know thee." 
"I was," it answer'd, "of Sienna: here 
I cleanse away with these the evil life, 
Soliciting with tears that He, who is, 
Vouchsafe Him to us. Though Sapia 3 named, 
In sapience I excell'd not; gladder far 
Of other's hurt, than of the good befell me. 
That thou mayst own I now deceive thee not, 
Hear, if my folly were not as I speak it. 
When now my tears sloped waning down the arch, 
It so bechanced, my fellow-citizens 
Near Colle met their enemies in the field; 
And I pray'd God to grant what He had will'd. 4 
There were they vanquish'd, and betook themselves 
Unto the bitter passages of flight. 
I mark'd the hunt; and waxing out of bounds 
In gladness, li&ed up my shameless brow, 
And, like the merlin 5 cheated by a gleam, 
Cried: 'It is over. Heaven! I fear thee not.' 
Upon my verge of life I wish'd for peace 
With God; nor yet repentance had supplied 
What I did lack of duty, were it not 
2" -Citizens of one true city!" 4." - What He had will'd." That 
"For here we have no continuing city, her countrymen should be defeated in 
but we seek one to come."-Heb. xiii. 14. battle. 
3 "Sapia." A lady of Sienna, living in 5 Induced by a gleam of fine weather 
exile at Colle, so overjoyed at a defeat in the winter to escape from his master, 
which her countrymen sustained near the merlin was soon oppressed by the 
that place, that she declared nothing more rigor of the season. 
was wanting to make her die contented. 


197 



19 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIII 


The hermit Piero,6 touch'd with charity, 
In his devout orisons thought on me. 
But who art thou that question'st of our state, 
Who go'st, as I believe, with lids unclosed, 
And breathest in thy talk?"-"Mine eyes," said I, 
"May yet be here ta'en from me; but not long; 
For they have not offended grievously 
With envious glances. But the woe beneath 7 
Urges my soul with more exceeding dread. 
That nether load already weighs me down." 
She thus: "Who then, amongst us here aloft, 
Hath brought thee, if thou weenest to return?" 
"He," answered I, "who standeth mute beside me. 
I live: of me ask therefore, chosen spirit! 
If thou desire I yonder yet should move 
For thee my mortal feet."-"Oh!" she replied, 
"This is so strange a thing, it is great sign 
That God doth love thee. Therefore with thy prayer 
Sometime assist me: and, by that I crave, 
Which most thou covetest, that if thy feet 
E'er tread on Tuscan soil, thou save my fame 
Amongst my kindred. Them shalt thou behold 
With that vain multitude,8 who set their hope 
On Telamone's haven; there to fail 
Confounded, more than when the fancied stream 
They sought, of Dian call'd: but they, who lead 
Their navies, more than ruin'd hopes shall mourn." 


6 "The hermit Piero." Piero Petti- 
nagno, a holy hermit of Florence. 
7 Dante felt that he was much more 


subject to the sin of pride, than to that 
of envy. 
8 The Sienese. 



CANTO XIV 


PURGATORY 


199 


CANTO XIV 


ARGUMENT .-our Poet on this second cornice finds also the souls of Guido del Duca 
of Brettinoro, and Rinieri da Calboli of Romagna; the latter of whom, hearing that 
he comes from the banks of the Arno, inveighs against the degeneracy of all those 
who dwell in the cities visited by that stream; and the former, in like manner, against 
the inhabitants of Romagna. On leaving these, our Poets hear voices recording noted 
instances of envy. 


" S A Y,l \vho is he around our mountain \vinds, 
Or ever death has pruned his \ving for flight; 
That opes his eyes, and covers them at will?" 
"I know not who he is, but know thus much; 
He comes not singly. Do thou ask of him, 
For thou art nearer to him; and take heed, 
Accost him gently, so that he may speak." 
Thus on the right two spirits, bending each 
Toward the other, talk'd of me; then both 
Addressing me, their faces backward lean'd, 
And thus the one 2 began: "0 soul, who yet 
Pent in the body, tendest towards the sky! 
For charity, we pray thee, comfort us; 
Recounting whence thou comest, and \vho thou art: 
For thou dost make us, at the favor shown thee, 
Marvel, as at a thing that ne'er hath been." 
"There stretches through the midst of Tuscany," 
I straight began, "a brooklet,3 \vhose well-head 
Springs up in Falterona; with his race 
Not satisfied, when he son1C hundred miles 
Hath measured. From his banks bring I this frame. 
To tell you who I am \vere words mis-spent: 
For yet my name scarce sounds on rumour's lip." 
"If \vell I do incorporate with my thought 
The meaning of thy speech," said he, who first 
Address'd me, "thou dost speak of Arno's wave." 
To whom the other: 4 "Why hath he conceal'd 
The title of that river, as a man 
Doth of some horrible thing?" The spirit, \vho 


1 "Say." The two spirits who thus 
speak to each other are Guido del Duca, 
of Brettinoro, and Rinieri da Calboli, of 
Romagna. 
2 "The one." Guido del Duca. 


3 The Arno, that rises in Falterona, a 
mountain in the Apennines. Its course 
is 120 miles. 
... Rinieri da Calboli. 



200 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIV 


Thereof was question'd, did acquit him thus: 
"I know not: but 'tis fitting well the name 
Should perish of that vale; for from the source,:i 
Where teems so plenteously the Alpine steep 
Maim'd of Pelorus, (that doth scarcely pass 
Beyond that limit), even to the point 
Where unto ocean is restored what heaven 
Drains from the exhaustless store for all earth's streams, 
Throughout the space is virtue worried down, 
,As 't were a snake, by all, for mortal foe; 
Or through disastrous influence on the place, 
Or else distortion of misguided wills 
That custom goads to evil: whence in those, 
1
he dwellers in that miserable vale, 
Nature is so transform'd, it seems as they 
Had shared of Circe's feeding. 'Midst brute swine,6 
\V orthier of acorns than of other food 
Created for man's use, he shapeth first 
His obscure way; then, sloping on\vard, finds 
Curs,1 snarlers more in spite than power, from whom 
lIe turns with scorn aside: still journeying down, 
By how much more the curst and luckless foss8 
Swells out to largeness, e'en so much it finds 
Dogs turning into wolves. 9 Descending still 

rhrough yet more hollow eddies, next he meets 
A race of foxes,lO so replete with craft, 
They do not fear that skill can master it. 
Nor will I cease because my words are heard ll 
By other ears than thine. It shall be well 
F or this man,12 if he keep in memory 
What from no erring spirit I reveal. 
Lo! I behold thy grandson,13 that becomes 
5 From the rise of the Arno in the 9 "Wolves." The Florentines. 
Apennines, whence Pelorus in Sicily was 10 "Foxes." The Pis:ms. 
torn by a convulsion of the earth, even 11 Guido still addresses Rinieri. 
to the point where the same river unites 12 For Dante, who has told us that he 
with the ocean, Virtue is persecuted by comes from the banks of Arno. 
all. 13 "Thy grandson." Fulcieri da Cal- 
6 The people of Casentino. boli, grandson of Rinieri da Calboli, who 
7 "Curs:' The Arno leaves Arezzo is here spoken to. The atrocities pre- 
about four miles to the left. dieted came to pass in 1302. 
8 "Foss." So in his anger he terms the 
Arno. 



CANTO XIV 


PURGATORY 


201 


A hunter of those wolves, upon the shore 
Of the fierce strearu; and cows them all with dread. 
Their flesh, yet living, sets he up to sale, 
Then, like an aged beast, to slaughter dooms. 
Many of life he reaves, himself of worth 
And goodly estimation. Smear'd with gore, 
Mark how he issues from the rueful \vood; 
Leaving such havoc, that in thousand years 
I t spreads not to prime I ustihood again." 
As one, who tidings hears of woe to come, 
Changes his looks perturb'd, from whate' er part 
The peril grasp him; so beheld I change 
That spirit, who had turn'd to listen; struck 
With sadness, soon as he had caught the word. 
His visage, and the other's speech, did raise 
Desire in me to know the names of both; 
Whereof, with meek entreaty, I inquired. 
The shade, who late address'd me, thus resumed: 
"Thy wish imports, that I vouchsafe to do 
For thy sake what thou wilt not do for mine. 
But, since God's will is that so largely shine 
His grace in thee, I will be liberal too. 
Guido of Duca know then that I am. 
Envy so parch'd my blood, that had I seen 
A fellow man made joyous, thou had'st mark'd 
A livid paleness overspread my cheek. 
Such harvest reap I of the seed I sow'd. 
a man! why place thy heart where there cloth need 
Excl usion of participants in good? 
This is Rinieri's spirit; this, the boast 
And honour of the house of Calboli; 
Where of his worth no heritage remains. 
Nor his the only blood, that hath been stript 
('Twixt Po, the mount, the Reno, and the shore 14 ) 
Of all that truth or fancy asks for bliss: 
But, in those limits, such a gro\vth has sprung 
Of rank and venom'd roots, as long \vould mock 
Slow culture's toil. Where is good Lizio?15 where 


14 The boundaries of Romagna. duced into Boccaccio's Decameron, G. v. 
15 uLizio." Lizio da Valbona intro- N. 4. 



202 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIV 


Mainardi, T ra versaro, and Carpigna? 16 
o bastard slips of old Romagna's line! 
When in Bologna the low artisan,17 
And in Faenza yon Bernardin 18 sprouts, 
A gentle cyon from ignoble stem. 
Wonder not, Tuscan, if thou see me \veep, 
When I recall to mind those once loved names, 
Guido of Prata,19 and of Azzo hin1 20 
That dwelt \vith us; Tignos021 and his troop, 
With Traversaro's house and Anastagio's,22 
(Each race disherited); and beside these, 
The ladies and the knights, the toils and ease, 
That \vitch'd us into love and courtesy; 
Where now such malice reigns in recreant hearts 
o BrettinoroF3 wherefore tarriest still, 
Since forth of thee thy family hath gone, 
And many, hating evil, join'd their steps? 
Well doeth he, that bids his lineage cease, 
Bagnacavallo;24 Castrocaro ill, 
And Conio worse,25 \vho care to propagate 
A race of Counties 26 from such blood as theirs. 
vVell shall ye also do, Pagani,21 then 
When from amongst you hies your demon child; 
Not so, howe'er, that thenceforth there remain 


16 Arrigo Manardi, of Faenza, or, as 
some say, of BrettÏnoro; Pier Traversaro, 
Lord of Ra venna; and Guido di Carpigna, 
of Montefeltro. 
17 One who had been a mechanic, 
named Lambertaccio, arrived at almost 
su preme power in Bologna. 
18 Benardin di Fosco, a man of low 
origin, but great talents, who governed 
at Faenza. 
19 "Prata." A place between Faenza 
and Ravenna. 
20 "Of Azzo him." Ugolino, of the 
Ubaldini family in Tuscany. 
21 Federigo Tignoso of Rimini. 
22 Two noble families of Ravenna. 
23 "0 Brettinoro." A beautifully sit- 
uated castle in Romagna, the hospitable 
residence of Guiùo del Duca, who is here 
speaking. Landino relates that there were 
several of this family who, when a stran- 


ger arrived among them, contended with 
one another by whom he should be enter- 
tained; and that in order to end this dis- 
pute, they set up a pillar with as many 
rings as there were fathers of families 
among them, a ring being assigned to 
each, and that accordingly as a strang-er 
on his arrival hung his horse's bridle on 
one or other of these, he became his 
guest to whom the ring belonged. 
24 "Bagnacavallo." A castle between 
Imola and Ravenna. 
2;;" - Castrocaro ill, and Conio 
worse." Both in Romagna. 
26 "Counties." I have used this word 
here for "counts," as it is in Shakespeare. 
27 "Pagani." The Pagani were lords of 
Faenza and Imola. One of them, Machi- 
nardo, was named "the Demon," from 
his treachery. See Hell, Canto xxvii. 47 
and note. 



CANTO XIV 


PURGATORY 


20 3 


True proof of what ye were. 0 Hugolin,28 
Thou sprung of Fantolini's line! thy name 
Is safe; since none is look'd for after thee 
To cloud its lustre, warping from thy stock. 
But, Tuscan! go thy ways; for now I take 
Far more delight in \veeping, than in \vords. 
Such pity for your sakes hath wrung my heart." 
We knew those gentle spirits, at parting, heard 
Our steps. Their silence therefore, of our way, 
Assured us. Soon as we had quitted them, 
Advancing onward, lor a voice, that seem'd 
Like volley'd lightning, when it rives the air, 
rvfet us, and shouted, "Whosoever finds 
Will slay me"; then fled from us, as the bolt 
Lanced sudden from a downward-rushing cloud. 
When it had given short truce unto our hearing, 
Behold the other with a crash as loud 
As the quick-follo\ving thunder: "Mark in me 
Aglauros, turn'd to rock." I, at the sound 
Retreating, drew more closely to my guide. 
Now in mute stilness rested all the air; 
And thus he spake: "There \vas the galling bit, 
Which should keep man within his boundary. 
But your old enemy so baits the hook, 
He drags you eager to him. Hence nor curb 
A vails you, nor reclaiming call. Heaven calls, 
And, round about you wheeling, courts your gaze 
With everlasting beauties. Yet your eye 
Turns with fond doting still upon the earth. 
Therefore He smites you who discerneth all." 


28 "Hugolin." Ugolino Ubaldini, a 
noble and virtuous person in Faenza, who, 


on account of his age probably, was not 
likely to leave any offspring behind him. 



20 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XV 


CANTO XV 


ARGUMENT.-An Angel invites them to ascend the next steep. On their way 
Dante suggests certain doubts, which are resolved by Virgil; and, when they reach the 
third cornice, where the sin of anger is purged, our Poet, in a kind of waking dream, 
beholds remarkable instances of patience; and soon after they are enveloped in a dense 
fog. 


A much as 'twixt the third hour's close and dawn, 
Appeareth of Heaven's sphere, that ever whirls 
As restless as an infant in his play; 
So much appear'd remaining to the sun 
Of his slope journey towards the western goal. 
Evening was there, and here the noon of night; 
And full upon our forehead smote the beams. 
For round the mountain, circling, so our path 
. Had led us, that toward the sunset now 
Direct we journey'd; when I felt a weight 
Of more exceeding splendour, than before, 
Press on my front. The cause unknown, amaze 
Possess'd me! and both hands against my brows 
Lifting, I interposed them, as a screen, 
That of its gorgeous superBux of light 
Clips the diminish'd orb. As \vhen the ray, 
Striking on \vater or the surface clear 
Of mirror, leaps unto the opposite part, 
Ascending at a glance, e'en as it fell, 
And as much differs from the stone, that falls 
Through equal space, (so practic skill hath shown); 
Thus, with refracted light, before me seem'd 
The ground there smitten; whence, in sudden haste, 
My sight recoil'd. "What is this, sire beloved! 
'Gainst which I strive to shield the sight in vain?" 
Cried I, "and which toward us moving seems?" 
"Marvel not, if the family of Heaven," 
He answer'd, "yet with dazzling radiance dim 
Thy sense. It is a messenger who comes, 
Inviting man's ascent. Such sights ere long, 
Not grievous, shall impart to thee delight, 
As thy perception is by nature wrought 
Up to their pitch." The blessed Angel, soon 



PURGATORY 
As we had reach'd him, hail'd us with glad voice: 
"Here enter on a ladder far less steep 
Than ye have yet encounter'd." We forthwith 
Ascending, heard behind us chanted sweet, 
"Blessed the merciful," 1 and "Happy thou, 
That conquer'st." Lonely each, my guide and I, 
Pursued our upward way; and as we went, 
Some profit from his words I hoped to win, 
And thus of him inquiring, framed my speech: 
"What meant Romagna's spirit,2 when he spake 
Of bliss exclusive, with no partner shared?" 
He straight replied: "No wonder, since he knows 
What sorrow waits on his own worst defect, 
If he chide others, that they less may mourn. 
Because ye point your wishes at a mark, 
Where, by communion of possessors, part 
Is lessen'd, envy bloweth up men's sighs. 
No fear of that might touch ye, if the love 
Of higher sphere exalted your desire. 
For there, by how much more they call it ours, 
So much propriety of each in good 
Encreases more, and heighten'd chárity 
W raps that fair cloister in a brighter flame." 
"Now lack I satisfaction more," said I, 
"Than if thou hadst been silent at the first; 
And doubt more gathers on my labouring thought.. 
How can it chance, that good distributed, 
The many, that possess it, makes more rich, 
Than if 't were shared by few?" He answering thus: 
"Thy mind, reverting still to things of earth, 
Strikes darkness from true light. The highest Good 
U nlin1ited, ineffable, doth so speed 
To love, as beam to lucid body darts, 
Giving as much of ardour as it finds. 
The sempiternal effluence streams abroad
 
Spreading, wherever charity extends;. 
So that the more aspirants to that bliss 
Are multiplied, more good is there to love, 
And more is loved; as mirrors, that reflect, 
1 "Blessed the merciful." Matt. v. 7. 2 Guido del Duca, of Brettinoro. 


CANTO XV 


20 5 



206 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XV 


Each unto other, propagated light. 
If these my words avail not to allay 
Thy thirsting, Beatrice thou shalt see, 
Who of this want, and of all else thou hast, 
Shall rid thee to the full. Provide but thou, 
That from thy temples may be soon erased, 
E'en as the two already, those five scars, 
That, when they pain thee worst, then kindliest heal." 
"Thou," I had said, "content'st me"; when I saw 
The other round \vas gain'd, and \vondering eyes 
Did keep me mute. There suddenly I seem'd 
By an ecstatic vision wrapt away; 
And in a temple saw, methought, a crowd 
Of many persons; and at the entrance stood 
A dame, \vhose sweet demeanour did express 
A mother's love, who said, "Child! why hast thou 
Dealt with us thus? Behold thy sire and I 
Sorrowing have sought thee"; and so held her peace; 
And straight the vision fled. A female next 
Appear'd before me, do\vn \vhose visage coursed 
Those waters, that grief forces out from one 
By deep resentment stung, who seem'd to say: 
'If thou, Pisistratus, be lord indeed 
Over this city,3 named with such debate 
Of adverse gods, and whence each science sparkles, 
Avenge thee of those arms, whose bold embrace 
Hath clasp'd our daughter"; and to her, meseem'd, 
Benign and meek, with visage undisturb'd, 
Her sovran spake: "How shall \ve those requite 4 
Who wish us evil, if we thus condemn 
The man that loves us?" After that I saw 
A multitude, in fury burning, slay 
With stones a stripling youth,:') and shout amain 
"Destroy, destroy"; and him I saw, who bow'd 


3 "Over this city." Athens, named after 
Minerva (A(HW7J), in consequence of her 
having produced a more valuable gift for 
it in the olive than Neptune had done in 
the horse. 
4 "How shall we those requite?" 
The answer of Pisistratus the tyrant to 


his wife, when she urged him to inflict 
the punishment of death on a young man, 
who, inflamed with love for his daußhter, 
had snatched a kiss from her in public. 
5 "A stripling youth." The Proto- 
martyr Stephen. 



CANTO XV 


PURGATORY 


20 7 


Heavy with death unto the ground, yet made 
His eyes, unfolded upward, gates to Heaven, 
Praying forgiveness of the Almighty Sire, 
Amidst that cruel conflict, on his foes, 
With looks that win compassion to their aim. 
Soon as my spirit, from her airy flight 
Returning, sought again the things whose truth 
Depends not on her shaping, I observed 
She had not roved to falsehood in her dreams. 
Meanwhile the leader, who might see I moved 
As one who struggles to shake off his sleep, 
Exclaim'd: "What ails thee, that thou canst not hold 
Thy footing nrm; but more than half a league 
Hast travel'd with closed eyes and tottering gait, 
Like to a man by wine or sleep 0' ercharged ?" 
"Beloved father! so thou deign," said I, 
"To listen, I \vill tell thee what appear'd 
Before me, when so fail'd my sinking steps." 
He thus: "Not if thy countenance were mask'd 
With hundred vizards, could a thought of thine, 
How small soe'er, elude me. What thou saw'st 
Was shown, that freely thou mightst ope thy heart 
To the waters of peace, that flow diffused 
From their eternal fountain. I not ask'd, 
What ails thee? for such cause as he doth, who 
Looks only with that eye, which sees no more, 
When spiritless the body lies; but ask'd, 
To give fresh vigour to thy foot. Such goads, 
The slow and loitering need; that they be found 
Not \vanting, when their hour of watch returns." 
So on we journey'd, through the evening sky 
Gazing intent, far onward as our eyes, 
With level view, could stretch against the bright 
Vespertine ray: and lo! by slow degrees 
Gathering, a fog made towards us, dark as night. 
There \vas no room for 'scaping; and that mist 
Bereft us, both of sight and the pure air. 



208 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVI 


CANTO XVI 


ARGUMENT.-As they proceed through the mist, they hear the voices of spirits 
praying. Marco Lombardo, one of these, points out to Dante the error of such as 
impute our actions to necessity; explains to him that man is endued with free will; 
and shows that much of human depravity results from the undue mixture of spiritual 
and temporal authority in rulers. 


H ELL'S dunnest gloom, or night unlustrous, dark, 
Of every planet 'reft, and pall'd in clouds, 
Did never spread before the sight a veil 
In thickness like that fog, nor to the sense 
So palpable and gross. Entering its shade, 
Mine eye endured not \vith unclosed lids; 
Which marking, near me drew the faithful guide, 
Offering me his shoulder for a stay. 
As the blind man behind his leader walks, 
Lest he should err, or stumble unawares 
On what might harm him or perhaps destroy; 
I journey'd through that bitter air and foul, 
Still listening to my escort's warning voice, 
"Look that from me thou part not." Straight I heard 
Voices, and each one seem'd to pray for peace, 
And for compassion, to the Lamb of God 
That taketh sins away. Their prelude still 
Was "Agnus Dei"; and through all the choir, 
One voice, one measure ran, that perfect seem'd 
The concord of their song. "Are these I hear 
Spirits, 0 master?" I exclaim'd; and he, 
"Thou aim'st aright: these loose the bonds of wrath." 
"Now who art thou, that through our smoke dost cleave, 
And speak'st of us, as thou thyself e'en yet 
Di videdst time by calends?" So one voice 
Bespake me; whence my master said, "Reply; 
And ask, if upward hence the passage lead." 
"0 being! who dost make thee pure, to stand 
Beautiful once more in thy Maker's sight; 
Along with me: and thou shalt hear and wonder." 
Thus I, whereto the spirit answering spake: 
"Long as 'tis lawful for me, shall my steps 
Follow on thine; and since the cloudy smoke 



CANTO XVI 


PURGATORY 


20 9 


Forbids the seeing, hearing in its stead 
Shall keep us join'd." I then forthwith began: 
"Yet in my mortal swathing, I ascend 
To higher regions; and am hither come 
Thorough the fearful agony of Hell. 
And, if so largely God hath doled His grace, 
That, clean beside all modern precedent, 
He wills me to behold His kingly state; 
From me conceal not who thou wast, ere death 
Had loosed thee; but instruct me: and instruct 
If rightly to the pass I tend; thy words 
The way directing, as a safe escort." 
"I was of Lombardy, and Marco call'd: 1 
Not inexperienced of the world, that worth 
I still affected, from which all have turn'd 
The nerveless bow aside. Thy course tends right 
Unto the summit:" and, replying thus, 
He added, "I beseech thee pray for me, 
When thou shalt come aloft." And I to him: 
"Accept my faith for pledge I will perform 
What thou requirest. Yet one doubt remains, 
That wrings me sorely, if I solve it not. 
Singly before it urged me, doubled now 
By thine opinion, when I couple that 
With one elsewhere declared; each strengthening other. 
The world indeed is even so forlorn 
Of all good, as thou speak'st it, and so swarms 
With every evil. Yet, beseech thee, point 
The cause out to me, that myself may see, 
And unto others show it: for in Heaven 
One places it, and one on earth below." 
Then heaving forth a deep and audible sigh, 
"Brother!" he thus began, "the world is blind; 
And thou in truth comest from it. Ye, who live, 
1 A Venetian gentleman. ULombardo" da Camino, lord of Trevigi, who raised 
both was his surname and denoted the a contribution among the nobles of Lom- 
country to which he belonged. G. Vil- bardy; of which when Marco was in- 
lani, lib. vii. cap. cxx., terms him U a wise formed, he wrote back with much indig- 
and worthy courtier." Benvenuto da nation to Riccardo, that he had rather die 
Imola, says Landino, relates of him, that than remain under obligations to so many 
being imprisoned and not able to pay his benefactors. Riccardo then paid the whole 
ransom, he WTote to his friend Riccardo out of his own purse. 



210 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVI 


Do so each cause refer to Heaven above, 
E'en as its motion, of necessity, 
Drew with it all that moves. If this were so, 
Free choice in you were none; nor justice would 
There should be joy for virtue, woe for ill. 
Your movements have their primal bent from Heaven; 
Not all: yet said I all; what then ensues? 
Light have ye still to follow evil or good, 
And of the will free power, which, if it stand 
Firm and unwearied in Heaven's first assay, 
Conquers at last, so it be cherish'd well, 
Triumphant over all. To mightier force, 
To better nature subject, ye abide 
Free, not constrain'd by that which forms in you 
The reasoning mind uninfluenced of the stars. 
If then the present race of mankind err, 
Seek in yourselves the cause, and find it there; 
Herein thou shalt confess me no false spy. 
"Forth from His plastic hand, who charm'd beholds 
Her image ere she yet exist, the soul 
Comes like a babe, that wantons sportively, 
Weeping and laughing in its wayward moods; 
As artless, and as ignorant of aught, 
Save that her Maker being one who dwells 
With gladness ever, willingly she turns 
To whate'er yields her joy. Of some slight good 
The flavour soon she tastes; and, snared by that, 
With fondness she pursues it; if no guide 
Recall, no rein direct her wandering course. 
Hence it behoved, the law should be a curb; 
A sovereign hence behoved, whose piercing view 
Might mark at least the fortress 2 and main tower 
Of the true city. Laws indeed there are: 
But who is he observes them? None; not he, 
Who goes before, the shepherd of the flock, 


2 Justice, the most necessary virtue in 
the chief magistrate, as the commentators 
for the most part explain it. See also 
Dante's De Monarchiâ, book 1. Yet Lom- 
bardi understands the law here spoken of 


to be the law of God; "the sovereign," 
a spiritual ruler, and "the true city," the 
society of true believers; so that "the for- 
tress," according to him, denotes the 
principal parts of Christian duty. 



CANTO XVI 


PURGATORY 


211 


Who 3 chews the cud but doth not cleave the hoof. 
Therefore the multitude, who see their guide 
Strike at the very good they covet most, 
Feed there and look no further. Thus the cause 
Is not corrupted nature in yourselves, 
But ill-conducting, that hath turn'd the world 
To evil. Rome, that turn'd it unto good, 
Was wont to boast two suns,4 whose several beams 
Cast light on either way, the world's and God's. 
One since hath quench'd the other; and the sword 
Is grafted on the crook; and, so conjoin'd, 
Each must perforce decline to worse, unawed 
By fear of other. If thou doubt me, mark 
The blade: each herb is judged of by its seed. 
That land,5 through which Adice and the Po 
Their waters roll, was once the residence 
Of courtesy and valour, ere the day6 
That frown'd on Frederick; now secure may pass 
Those limits, whosoe'er hath left, for shame, 
To talk with good men, or come near their haunts. 
Three aged ones are still found there, in whom 
The old time chides the new: these deem it long 
Ere God restore them to a better world: 
The good Gherardo,7 of Palazzo he, 
Conrad;8 and Guido of Castello,9 named 
In Gallic phrase more fitly the plain Lombard. 
On this at last conclude. The Church of Rome, 
Mixing two governments that ill assort, 
Hath miss'd her footing, fallen into the mire, 
And there herself and burden much defiled." 


3 "Who." He compares the Pope, on 
account of the union of the temporal with 
the spiritual power in his person, to an 
unclean beast in the Levitical law. .'The 
camel, because he cheweth the cud, but 
divideth not the hoof." Levit. vi. 4. 
4 The Emperor and Bishop of Rome. 
:>> "That land." Lombardy. 
6 Before the Emperor Frederick II was 
defeated at Parma, in 1248. 
7 Gherardo da Camino, of Trevigi. He 
is honorably mentioned in our Poet's Con- 


vito, p. 173. "Let us suppose that Ghe- 
rardo da Camino had been the grandson 
of the meanest hind that ever drank of 
the Sile or the Cagnano, and that his 
grandfather was not yet forgotten; who 
will dare to say that Gherardo da Camino 
was a mean man, and who will not agree 
with me in calling him noble?" 
8 Currado da Palazzo of Brescia. 
9 Of Reggio. All the Italians were called 
Lombards by the French. 



212 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVII 


"0 Marco!" I replied, "thine arguments 
Convince me: and the cause I now discern, 
Why of the heritage no portion came 
To Levi's offspring. But resolve me this: 
Who that Gherardo is, that as thou say'st 
Is left a sample of the perish'd race, 
And for rebuke to this untoward age?" 
"Either thy words," said he, "deceive, or else 
Are meant to try me; that thou, speaking Tuscan, 
Appear'st not to have heard of good Gherardo; 
The sole addition that, by which I know him; 
Unless I borrow'd from his daughter GaïalO 
Another name to grace him. God be with you. 
I bear you company no more. Behold 
The dawn \vith white ray glimmering through the mist. 
I must away-the angel comes-ere he 
Appear." He said, and would not hear me more. 


CANTO XVII 


ARGUMENT.-The Poet issues from that thick vapour; and soon after his fancy 
represents to him in lively portraiture some noted examples of anger. This imagina- 
tion is dissipated by the appearance of an angel, who marshals them onward to the 
fourth cornice, on which the sin of gloominess or indifference is purged; and here 
Virgil shows him that this vice proceeds from a defect of love, and that all love 
can be only of two sorts, either natural, or of the soul; of which sorts the former is 
always right, but the latter may err either in respect of object or of degree. 
C ALL to remembrance, reader, if thou e'er 
Hast on an Alpine height been ta'en by cloud, 
Through which thou saw'st no better than the mole 
Doth through opacous membrane; then, whene'er 
The watery vapours dense began to melt 
Into thin air, how faintly the sun's sphere . 
Seem'd wading through them: so thy nimble thought 
May image, how at first I rebeheld 
The sun, that bedward now his couch 0' erhung. 
Thus, with my leader's feet still equaling pace, 
From forth that cloud I came, when now expired 
10 "His daughter Gaia." A lady claim to the praise of having been the 
equally admired for her modesty, the first among the Italian ladies, by whom 
beauty of her person, and the excellency the vernacular poetry was cultivated. 
of her talents. Gaia may perhaps lay 



CANTO XVII 


PURGATORY 


21 3 


The parting beams from off the nether shores. 
o quick and forgeti ve power! that sometimes dost 
So rob us of ourselves, we take no mark 
Though round about us thousand trumpets clang; 
What moves thee, if the senses stir not? Light 
Moves thee from Heaven, spontaneous, self-inform'd; 
Or, likelier, gliding down with swift illapse 
By will divine. Portray'd before me came 
The traces of her dire impiety, 
Whose form was changed into the bird, that most 
Delights itself in song: 1 and here my mind 
Was inwardly so wrapt, it gave no place 
To aught that ask'd admittance from without. 
Next shower'd into my fantasy a shape 
As of one crucified, whose visage spake 
Fell rancour, malice deep, wherein he died; 
And round him Ahasuerus the great king; 
Esther his bride; and Mordecai the just, 
Blameless in word and deed. As of itself 
That unsubstantial coinage of the brain 
Burst, like a bubble, when the water fails 
That fed it; in my vision straight uprose 
A damsel 2 weeping loud, and cried, "0 queen! 
o mother! wherefore has intemperate ire 
Driven thee to loathe thy being? Not to lose 
Lavinia, desperate thou hast slain thyself. 
Now hast thou lost me. I am she, whose tears 
Mourn, ere I fall, a mother's timeless end." 
E'en as a sleep breaks off, if suddenly 
New radiance strikes upon the closed lids, 
The broken slumber quivering ere it dies; 
Thus, from before me, sunk that imagery, 
Vanishing, soon as on my face there struck 
The light, outshining far our earthly beam. 
1 I cannot think, with Vellutello, that two, but through mistake slew her own 
the swallow is here meant. Dante prob- son Itylus, and for her punishment was 
ably alludes to the story of Philomela, as transformed by Jupiter into a nightingale. 
it is found in Homer's "Odyssey," b. xix. 2 Lavinia, mourning for her mother 
518. Philomela intended to slay the son Amata, who, impelled by grief and indig- 
of her husband's brother Amphion, in- nation for the supposed death of Turnus, 
cited to it by the envy of his wife, who destroyed herself. 
had six children, while herself had only 



21 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVII 


As round I turn'd me to survey what place 
I had arrived at, "Here ye mount": exclaim'd 
A voice, that other purpose left me none 
Save will so eager to behold who spake, 
I could not chuse but gaze. As 'fore the sun, 
That weighs our vision down, and veils his form 
In light transcendent, thus my virtue fail'd 
Unequal. "This is Spirit from above, 
Who marshals us our upward way, unsought; 
And 
n his own light shrouds him. As a man 
Doth for himself, so now is done for us. 
For whoso waits imploring, yet sees need 
Of his prompt aidance, sets himself prepared 
For blunt denial, ere the suit be made. 
Refuse we not to lend a ready foot 
At such inviting: haste we to ascend, 
Before it darken: for we may not then, 
Till morn again return." So spake my guide; 
And to one ladder both address'd our steps; 
And the first stair approaching, I perceived 
Near me as 't were the waving of a wing, 
That fann'd n1Y face, and whisper'd: "Blessed they, 
The peace-makers: they know not evil wrath." 
Now to such height above our heads were raised 
The last beams, follow'd close by hooded night, 
That many a star on all sides through the gloom 
Shone out. "Why partest from me, 0 my strength?" 
So with myself I communed; for I felt 
My 0' ertoil' d sinews slacken. We had reach'd 
The summit, and were fix'd like to a bark 
Arrived at land. And waiting a short space, 
If aught should meet mine ear in that new round, 
Then to my guide I turn'd, and said: "Loved sire! 
Declare what guilt is on this circle purged. 
If our feet rest, no need thy speech should pause." 
He thus to me: "The love of good, whate'er 
Wanted of just proportion, here fulfils. 
Here plies afresh the oar, that loiter'd ill. 
But that thou mayst yet clearlier understand, 
Give ear unto my words; and thou shalt cull 



CANTO XVII 


PURGATORY 
Some fruit may please thee well, from this delay. 
"Creator, nor created being, e'er, 
My son," he thus began, "was without love, 
Or natural, or the free spirit's growth, 
Thou hast not that to learn. The natural still 
Is without error: but the other swerves, 
If on ill object bent, or through excess 
Of vigour, or defect. While e'er it seeks 
The primal blessings,3 or with measure due 
The inferior,. no delight, that flows from it, 
Partakes of ill. But let it warp to evil, 
Or with more ardour than behoves, or less, 
Pursue the good; the thing created then 
Works 'gainst its Maker. Hence thou must infer 
That love is germin of each virtue in ye, 
And of each act no less, that merits pain. 
Now 5 since it may not be, but love intend 
The welfare mainly of the thing it loves, 
All from self-hatred are secure; and since 
No being can be thought to exist a part, 
And independent of the first, a bar 
Of equal force restrains from hating that. 
"Grant the distinction just; and it remains 
The evil must be another's, which is loved. 
Three ways such love is gender'd in your clay. 
There is 6 who hopes (his neighbour's worth deprest) 
Pre-eminence himself; and covets hence, 
For his own greatness, that another fall. 
There is 7 who so much fears the loss of power, 
Fame, favour, glory, (should his fellow mount 
Above him), and so sickens at the thought, 
He loves their opposite: and there is he,8 
Whom wrong or insult seems to gall and shame, 
That he doth thirst for vengeance; and such needs 
Must dote on other's evil. Here beneath, 


3 "The primal blessings." Spiritual 
good. 
4, "The inferior." Temporal good. 
5 "Now." ..It is impossible for any 
being, either to hate itself, or to hate the 
First Cause of all, by which it exists. We 


21 5 


can therefore rejoice only in the evil 
which befalls others." 
6 "There is." The proud. 
7 "There is." The envious. 
8 "There is he." The resentful. 



216 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVIII 


This threefold love is mourn'd. Of the other sort 
Be now instructed; that which follows good, 
But with disorder'd and irregular course. 
"All indistinctly apprehend a bliss, 
On which the soul may rest; the hearts of all 
Yearn after it; and to that wished bourn 
All therefore strive to tend. If ye behold, 
Or seek it, with a love remiss and lax; 
This cornice, after just repenting, lays 
Its penal torment on ye. Other good 
There is, where man finds not his happiness: 
It is not true fruition; not that blest 
Essence, of every good the branch and root. 
The love too lavishly bestow'd on this, 
Along three circles over us, is mourn'd. 
Account of that division tripartite 
Expect not, fitter for thine own research." 


CANTO XVIII 


ARGUMENT.-Virgil discourses further concerning the nature of love. Then a multi- 
tude of spirits rush by; two of whom, in van of the rest, record instances of zeal 
and fervent affection, and another, who was Abbot of San Zeno in Verona, declares 
himself to Virgil and Dante; and lastly follow other spirits, shouting forth memorable 
examples of the sin for which they suffer. The Poet, pursuing his meditations, falls 
into a dreamy slumber. 


T HE teacher ended, and his high discourse 
Concluding, earnest in my looks inquired 
If I appear'd content; and I, whom still 
Unsated thirst to hear him urged, was mute, 
Mute outwardly, yet inwardly I said: 
"Perchance my too much questioning offends." 
But he, true father, mark'd the secret wish 
By diffidence restrain'd; and, speaking, gave 
Me boldness thus to speak: "Master! my sight 
Gathers so lively virtue from thy beams, 
That all, thy words convey, distinct is seen. 
Wherefore I pray thee, father, whom this heart 
Holds dearest, thou wouldst deign by proof t' unfold 
That love, from which, as from their source, thou bring'st 
All good deeds and their opposite." He then: 



CANTO XVIII 


PURGATORY 


21 7 


"To what I now disclose be thy clear ken 
Directed; and thou plainly shalt behold 
How much those blind have err'd, who make themselves 
The guides of men. The soul, created apt 
To love, moves versatile which way soe'er 
Aught pleasing prompts her, soon as she is waked 
By pleasure into act. Of substance true 
Your apprehension forms its counterfeit; 
And, in you the ideal shape presenting, 
Attracts the soul's regard. If she, thus drawn, 
Incline toward it; love is that inclining, 
And a new nature knit by pleasure in ye. 
Then, as the fire points up, and mounting seeks 
His birth-place and his lasting seat, e'en thus 
Enters the captive soul into desire, 
Which is a spiritual motion, that ne'er rests 
Before enjoyment of the thing it loves. 
Enough to show thee, how the truth from those 
Is hidden, who aver all love a thing 
Praiseworthy in itself; although perhaps 
Its matter seem still good. Yet if the wax 
Be good, it follows not the impression must." 
"What love is," I return'd, "thy words, 0 guide! 
And my own docile mind, reveal. Yet thence 
New doubts have sprung. For, from without, if love 
Be offered to us, and the spirit knows 
No other footing; tend she right or wrong, 
Is no desert of hers." He answering thus: 
"What reason here discovers, I have power 
To show thee: that which lies beyond, expect 
From Beatrice, faith not reason's task. 
Spirit, substantial form, with matter join'd, 
Not in confusion mix'd, hath in itself 
Specific virtue of that union born, 
Which is not felt except it work, nor proved 
But through effect, as vegetable life 
By the green leaf. From whence his intellect 
Deduced its primal notices of things, 
Man therefore knows not, or his appetites 
Their first affections; such in you, as zeal 



218 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVIII 


In bees to gather honey; at the nrst, 
Volition, meriting nor blame nor praise. 
But o'er each lower faculty supreme, 
That, as she list, are summon' d to her bar, 
Ye have that virtue 1 in you, whose just voice 
Uttereth counsel, and whose word should keep 
The threshold of assent. Here is the source, 
Whence cause of merit in you is derived; 
E' en as the affections, good or ill, she takes, 
Or severs, winnow'd as the chaff. Those men,2 
Who, reasoning, went to depth profoundest, mark'd 
That innate freedom; and were thence induced 
To leave their moral teaching to the world. 
Grant then, that from necessity arise 
All love that glows within you; to dismiss 
Or harbour it, the power is in yourselves. 
Remember, Beatrice, in her style, 
Denominates free choice by eminence 
The noble virtue; if in talk with thee 
She touch upon that theme." The moon, well nigh 
To midnight hour belated, made the stars 
Appear to wink and fade; and her broad disk 
Seem'd like a crag on fire, as up the vault 3 
That course she journey'd, which the sun then warms 
When they of Rome behold him at his set 
Betwixt Sardinia and the Corsic isle. 
And now the weight, that hung upon my thought, 
Was lighten'd by the aid of that clear spirit, 
Who raiseth Andes 4 above Mantua's name. 
I therefore, when my questions had obtain'd 
Solution plain and ample, stood as one 
Musing in dreamy slumber; but not long 
Slumber'd; for suddenly a multitude, 
The steep already turning from behind, 


1 "That virtue." Reason. 
2 "Those men." The great moral 
philosophers among the heathen. 
3 "Up the vault." The moon passed 
with a motion opposite to that of the 
heavens, through the constellation of the 
Scorpion, in which the sun is, when to 


those who are in Rome he appears to set 
bctween the isles of Corsica and Sardinia. 
4 "Andes." Andes, now Pietola, made 
more famous than Mantua, near which 
it is situated, by having been the birth- 
place of Virgil. 



CANTO XVIII 


PURGATORY 
Rush'd on. With fury and like random rout, 
As echoing on their shores at midnight heard 
Ismenus and Asopus,5 for his Thebes 
If Bacchus' help were needed; so came these 
Tumultuous, curving each his rapid step, 
By eagerness impell'd of holy love. 
Soon they o'ertook us; with such swiftness moved 
The mighty crowd. Two spirits at their head 
Cried, weeping, "Blessed Mary6 sought with haste 
The hilly region. Cæsar,7 to subdue 
Ilerda, darted in Marseilles his sting, 
And flew to Spain."-"Oh, tarry not: away!n 
The others shouted; "let not time be lost 
Through slackness of affection. Hearty zeal 
To serve reanimates celestial grace." 
"0 ye! in whom intenser fervency 
Haply supplies, where lukewarm erst ye fail'd, 
Slow or neglectful, to absolve your part 
Of good and virtuous; this man, who yet lives, 
(Credit my tale, though strange,) desires to ascend, 
So morning rise to light us. Therefore say 
Which hand leads nearest to the rifted rock." 
So spake my guide; to whom a shade return'd: 
"Come after us, and thou shalt find the cleft. 
We may not linger: such resistless will 
Speeds our unwearied course. Vouchsafe us then 
Thy pardon, if our duty seem to thee 
Discourteous rudeness. In Verona I 
Was AbbotS of San Zeno, when the hand 
Of Barbarossa grasp'd imperial sway, 
That name ne'er utter'd without tears in Milan. 
And there is he,9 hath one foot in his grave, 


21 9 


5 "Ismenus and Asopus. tt Rivers near 
Thebes. 
6 "And Mary arose in those days, and 
went into the hill country with haste, 
into a city of Judah; and entered into the 
house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth:' 
-Luke i. 39. 
7 Cæsar left Brutus to complete the 
siege of Marseilles, and hastened on to 
the attack of Afranius and Petreius, the 


generals of Pompey, at Herda (Lerida) in 
Spain. 
8 Alberto, Abbot of San Zeno in Verona, 
when Frederick I was Emperor, by whom 
Milan was besieged and reduced to ashes, 
in II 62. 
9 "There is he." Alberto della Scala, 
Lord of Verona, who had made his 
natural son Abbot of San Zeno. 



220 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
Who for that monastery ere long shall weep, 
Ruing his power misused: for that his son, 
Of body ill compact, and worse in mind, 
And born in evil, he hath set in place 
Of its true pastor." Whether more he spake, 
Or here was mute, I know not: he had sped 
E'en now so far beyond us. Yet thus much 
I heard, and in remembrance treasured it. 
He then, who never fail'd me at my need, 
Cried, "Hither turn. Lo! two with sharp remorse 
Chiding their sin." In rear of all the troop 
These shouted: "First they died,1O to whom the sea 
Open'd, or ever Jordan saw his heirs: 
And they,tl who with Æneas to the end 
Endured not suffering, for their portion chose 
Life without glory." Soon as they had fled 
Past reach of sight, new thought within me rose 
By others follow'd fast, and each unlike 
Its fellow: tin led on from thought to thought, 
And pleasured with the fleeting train, mine eye 
Was closed, and meditation changed to dream. 


CANTO XIX 


CANTO XIX 


ARGUMENT.- The Poet, after describing his dream, relates how, at the summoning 
of an Angel, he ascends with Virgil to the fifth cornice, where the sin of avarice is 
cleansed, and where he finds Pope Adrian the fifth. 


I T was the hour,t when of diurnal heat 
No reliques chafe the cold beams of the moon, 
O'erpower'd by earth, or planetary sway 
Of Saturn; and the geomancer 2 sees 
His Greater Fortune up the east ascend, 
Where gray dawn checkers first the shado\vy cone, 


10 "First they died." The Israelites, 
who on account of their disobedience died 
before reaching the promised land. 
U "And they." Those Trojans, who, 
wearied with their voyage, chose rather 
to remain in Sicily with Acestes than ac- 
company Æneas to Italy. 
1 "The hour." Near the dawn. 


2 "The geomancer." The geomancers, 
when they divined, drew a figure consist- 
ing of sixteen marks, named from so 
many stars which constitute the end of 
Aquarius and the beginning of Pisces. 
One of these they called "the greater for- 
tune." 



CANTO XIX 


PURGATORY 


221 


When, 'fore me in my dream, a woman's shape3 
There came, with lips that stammer'd, eyes aslant, 
Distorted feet, hands maim'd, and colour pale. 
I look'd upon her: and, as sunshine cheers 
Limbs numb'd by nightly cold, e'en thus my look 
Unloosed her tongue; next, in brief space, her form 
Decrepit raised erect, and faded face 
With love's own hue illumed. Recovering speech, 
She forthwith, warbling, such a strain began, 
That I, how 10th soe'er, could scarce have held 
Attention from the song. "I," thus she sang, 
"I am the Syren, she, whom mariners 
On the wide sea are wilder'd when they hear; 
Such fulness of delight the listener feels. 
I, from his course, Ulysses 4 by my lay 
Enchanted drew. Whoe'er frequents me once, 
Parts seldom: so I charm him, and his heart 
Contented knows no void." Or ere her mouth 
Was closed, to shame her, at my side appear'd 
A dame 5 of semblance holy. With stern voice 
She utter'd: "Say, 0 Virgil I who is t-hisr" 
Which hearing, he approach'd, with eyes still bent 
Toward that goodly presence: the other seized her, 
And, her robes tearing, open'd her before, 
And show'd the belly to me, whence a smell, 
Exhaling loathsome, waked me. Round I turn'd 
Mine eyes: and thus the teacher: "At the least 
Three times my voice hath call'd thee. Rise, begone. 
Let us the opening find where thou mayst pass." 
I straightway rose. Now day, pour'd down from high, 
Fill'd all the circuits of the sacred mount; 
And, as we journey'd, on our shoulder smote 
The early ray. I follo\v'd, stooping lo\v 
My forehead, as a man, o'ercharged with thought, 
3 uA woman's shape." Worldly happi- for the contradiction is, to suppose that 
ness. This allegory reminds us of the she is here represented as purposely de- 
"Choice of Hercules." viating from the truth. Or Dante may 
· UUlysses." It is Dot easy to determine have followed some legend of the Middle 
why Ulysses, contrary to the authority Ages. 
of Homer, is said to have been drawn 5 uA dame." Philosophy, or perhaps 
aside from his course by the song of the Truth. 
Siren. No improbable way of accounting 



222 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIX 


Who bends him to the likeness of an arch 
That midway spans the flood; when thus I heard, 
"Come, enter here," in tone so soft and mild, 
As never met the ear on mortal strand. 
\Vith swan-like wings dispred and pointing up, 
Who thus had spoken marshal'd us along, 
Where, each side of the solid masonry, 
The sloping walls retired; then moved his pI urnes, 
And fanning us, affirm'd that those, who mourn,6 
Are blessed, for that comfort shall be theirs. 
"What aileth thee, that still thou look'st to earth?" 
Began my leader; while the angelic shape 
A little over us his station took. 
"Ne\v vision," I replied, "hath raised in me 
Surmisings strange and anxious doubts, whereon 
My soul intent allows no other thought 
Or room, or entrance."-"Hast thou seen," said he 
"That old enchantress, her, whose \viles alone 
The spirits o'er us weep for? Hast thou seen 
How man may free him of her bonds? Enough. 
Let thy heels spurn the earth; and thy raised ken 
Fix on the lure, which Heaven's eternal King 
Whirls in the rolling spheres." As on his feet 
The falcon first looks down, then to the sky 
Turns, and forth stretches eager for the food, 
That woos him thither; so the call I heard: 
So on\vard, far as the dividing rock 
Gave \vay, I journey'd, till the plain was reach'd. 
On the fifth circle when I stood at large, 
A race appear'd before me, on the ground 
All downward lying prone and weeping sore. 
"My soul hath cleaved to the dust," I heard 
With sighs so deep, they well nigh choked the words. 
"0 ye elect of God! whose penal woes 
Both hope and justice mitigate, direct 
Towards the steep rising our uncertain ,vay." 
"If ye approach secure from this our doom, 
Prostration, and would urge your course \vith speed, 
6 "Who mourn." "Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted."- 
Matt. v. 4 



CANTO XIX 


PURGATORY 
See that ye still to rightward keep the brink." 
So them the bard besought; and such the words, 
Beyond us some short space, in answer came. 
I noted what remain'd yet hidden from them: 7 
Thence to my liege's eyes mine eyes I bent, 
And he, forthwith interpreting their suit, 
Beckon'd his glad assent. Free then to act 
As pleased me, I drew near, and took my stand 
Over that shade whose words I late had mark'd. 
And, "Spiritl" I said, "in whom repentant tears 
Mature that blessed hour when thou with God 
Shalt find acceptance, for a while suspend 
For me that mightier care. Say who thou wast; 
Why thus ye grovel on your bellies prone; 
And if, in aught, ye wish my service there, 
Whence living I am come." He answering spake: 
"The cause \vhy Heaven our back towards his cope 
Reverses, shalt thou know: but me know first, 
The successor of Peter, 8 and the name 
And title of my lineage, from that stream 9 
That 't\vixt Chiaveri and Siestri draws 
His limpid waters through the lowly glen. 
A month and little more by proof I learnt, 
With what a weight that robe of sovereignty 
Upon his shoulder rests, who from the mire 
Would guard it; that each other fardel seems 
But feathers in the balance. Late, alas! 
Was my conversion: but, when I became 
Rome's pastor, I discerned at once the dream 
And cozenage of life; sa\v that the heart 
Rested not there, and yet no prouder height 
Lured on the climber: wher
of, of that life 
No more enamor'd, in my bosom love 
Of purer being kindled. F or till then 


7 eel noted what remain'd yet hidden 
from them." They were ignorant, it 
appeared, whether Dante was come there 
to be purged of his sins. 
8 "The successor of Peter." Ottobuono, 
of the family of Fieschi, Counts of La- 
vagno, died thirty-nine days after he be- 


223 


came Pope, with the title of Adrian V, in 
12 76. 
9 "That stream." The river Lavagno, 
in the Genoese territory; to the east of 
which territory are situated Siestri and 
Chiaveri. 



224 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIX 


I was a soul in misery, alienate 
From God, and covetous of all earthly things; 
Now, as thou seest, here punish'd for my doting. 
Such cleansing from the taint of avarice, 
Do spirits, converted, need. This mount inflicts 
No direr penalty. E'en as our eyes 
Fasten'd belo\v, nor e'er to loftier clime 
Were lifted; thus hath justice level'd us, 
Here on the earth. As avarice quench'd our love 
Of good, \vithout which is no working; thus 
Here justice holds us prison'd, hand and foot 
Chain'd down and bound, while Heaven's just Lord shall 
please, 
So long to tarry, motionless, outstretch'd." 
My knees I stoop'd, and would have spoke; but he, 
Ere my beginning, by his ear perceived 
I did him reverence; and "What cause," said he, 
"Hath bow'd thee thus?"-"Compunction," I rejoin'd, 
"And in\vard awe of your high dignity." 
"Up," he exclaim'd, "brother! upon thy feet 
Arise; err not: thy fello\v-servant I, 
(Thine and all others') of one Sovran Power. 
If thou hast ever mark'd those holy sounds 
Of gospel truth, 'nor shall be given in marriage,' 
Thou mayst discern the reasons of my speech. 
Go thy ways now; and linger here no more. 
Thy tarrying is a let unto the tears, 
With which I hasten that whereof thou spakest. 
I have on earth a kinswoman;lo her name 
Alagia, worthy in herself, so ill 
Example of our house corrupt her not: 
And she is all remaineth of me there." 


10 AlA kinswoman!' Alagia is said to 
have been the wife of the Marchese Mar- 
cello Malaspina, one of the Poet's pro- 


tectors during his exile. See Canto viii. 
133. 



CANTO XX 


PURGATORY 


225 


CANTO XX 


ARGUMENT.-Among those of the fifth cornice, Hugh Capet records illustrious ex- 
amples of voluntary poverty and of bounty; then tells who himself is, and speaks of 
his descendants on the French throne; and, lastly, adds some noted instances of 
avarice. When he has ended, the mountain shakes, and all the spirits sing "Glory to 
God." 


I LL strives the will, 'gainst will more wise that strives: 
His pleasure therefore to mine own preferr'd, 
I dre\v the sponge yet thirsty from the wave. 
Onward I moved: he also onward moved, 
Who led me, coasting still, wherever place 
Along the rock was vacant; as a man 
Walks near the battlements on narro\v wall. 
For those on the other part, who drop by drop 
Wring out their all-infecting malady, 
Too closely press the verge. Accurst be thou, 
Inveterate wolff! whose gorge ingluts more prey, 
Than every beast beside, yet is not fill'd; 
So bottomless thy maw. Ye spheres of Heaven! 
To whom there are, as seems, who attribute 
All change in mortal state, when is the day 
Of his appearing,2 for whom fate reserves 
To chase her hence? With wary steps and slow 
We pass'd; and I attentive to the shades, 
Whom piteously I heard lament and wail; 
And, 'midst the wailing, one before us heard 
Cry out "0 blessed Virgin!" as a dame 
In the sharp pangs of childbed; and "How poor 
Thou wast," it added, "witness that low roof 
Where thou didst lay thy sacred burden down. 
o good Fabricius! thou didst virtue choose 
With poverty, before great wealth with vice." 
The words so pleased me, that desire to know 
The spirit, from whose lip they seem'd to come, 
Did draw me onward. Yet it spake the gi& 
Of Nicholas,3 which on the maidens he 
1 "Wolf." Avarice. as to resolve on exposing the chastity of 
2 He is thought to atIude to Can his three daughters to sale. Nicholas threw 
Grande deUa Scala. See HeU, Canto i. 98. in at the window of their house three 
3 An angel having revealed to him that bags of money, containing a sufficient por- 
the father of a family was so impoverished tion for each of them. 



226 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XX 


Bounteous bestow'd, to save their youthful prime 
Unblemish'd. "Spirit I who dost speak of deeds 
So worthy, tell me who thou wast," I said, 
"And why thou dost with single voice renew 
Memorial of such praise. That boon vouchsafed 
Ha pI y shall meet re\vard; if I return 
To finish the short pilgrimage of life, 
Still speeding to its close on restless wing." 
"I," answer'd he, '\vill tell thee; not for help, 
Which thence I look for; but that in thyself 
Grace so exceeding shines, before thy time 
Of mortal dissolution. I was root 4 
Of that ill plant, whose shade such poison sheds 
O'er all the Christian land, that seldom thence 
Good fruit is gather' d. Vengeance soon should come, 
Had Ghent and Douay, Lille and Bruges power;5 
And vengeance I of Heaven's great Judge implore. 
I-Iugh Capet was I hight: from me descend 
The Philips and the Louis, of whom France 
N ewl y is govern'd: born of one, who plied 
The slaughterer's trade 6 at Paris. When the race 
Of ancient kings had vanish'd (all save one 7 
Wrapt up in sable weeds) within my gripe 
I found the reins of empire, and such po\vers 
Of new acquirement, with full store of friends, 
That soon the widow'd circlet of the CrO\VD 
Was girt upon the temples of my son,8 
He, from whose bones the anointed race begins. 
Hugh Capet, ancestor of who carried on the trade of a butcher, at 
Paris, and whether the sanguinary dis- 
position of Hugh Capet's father is not 
stigmatized by this opprobrious appeI. 
Iation. 
7 The posterity of Charlemain, the 
second race of French monarchs, had 
failed, with the exception of Charles of 
Lorraine, who is said, on account of the 
melancholy temper of his mind, to have 
always clothed himself in black. Venturi 
suggests that Dante may have confounded 
him with Childeric III, the last of the 
Merovingian, or first, race, who was de. 
posed and made a monk in 751. 
8 Hugh Capet caused his son Robert 
to be crowned at Orleans. 


4 "Root." 
Philip IV. 
5 These cities had lately been seized by 
Philip IV. The spirit intimates the ap. 
proaching defeat of the French army by 
the Flemings, in the battle of Courtrai, 
which happened in 1302. 
6 "The slaughterer's trade." This re. 
flection on the birth of his ancestor in- 
duced Francis I to forbid the reading of 
Dante in his dominions. Hugh Capet, 
who came to the throne of France in 
987, was, however, the grandson of 
Robert, who was the brother of Eudes, 
King of France in 888; and it may, there. 
fore, well be questioned whether by 
Beccaio di Parigi is meant literally one 



CANTO XX 


PURGATORY 
Till the great dower of Provence 9 had removed 
The stains, that yet obscured our lowly blood, 
Its sway indeed was narrow; but ho\ve'er 
It wrought no evil: there, with force and lies, 
Began its rapine: after, for amends, 
Poitou it seized, Navarre and Gascony. 
To Italy came Charles; and for amends, 
Young Conradine,IO an innocent victim, sle\v; 
And sent the angelic teacher ll back to Heaven, 
Still for amends. I see the time at hand, 
That forth from France invites another Charles 12 
To make himself and kindred better known. 
Unarm'd he issues, saving with that lance, 
Which the arch-traitor tilted \vith,13 and that 
He carries with so home a thrust, as rives 
The bowels of poor Florence. No increase 
Of territory hence, but sin and shame 
Shall be his guerdon; and so much the more 
As he more lightly deems of such foul \vrong. 
I see the other 14 (who a prisoner late 


9 "The great dower of Provence." 
Louis IX and his brother Charles of 
Anjou married two of the four daughters 
of Raymond Berenger, Count of Provence. 
See Paradise, c. vi. 135. 
10 "Young Conradine." Charles of 
Anjou put Conradino to death in 1268, 
and became King of Naples. 
11 "The angelic teacher." Thomas 
Aquinas. He was reported to have been 
poisoned by a physician, who wished to 
ingratiate himself with Charles of Anjou. 
"In the year 1323, at the end of July, by 
the said Pope John and by his cardinals, 
was canonized at A vignon, Thomas 
Aquinas, of the order of Saint Dominic, 
a master in divinity and philosophy. A 
man most excellent in all science, and 
who expounded the sense of Scripture 
better than anyone since the time of 
Augustin. He lived in the time of 
Charles I, King of Sicily; and going to 
the council at Lyons, it is said that he 
was killed by a physician of the said 
king, who put poison for him into some 
sweetmeats, thinking to ingratiate himself 
with King Charles, because he was of the 


227 


lineage of the Lords of Aquino, who had 
rebelled against the king, and doubting 
lest he should be made cardinal; whence 
the Church of God received great dam- 
age. He died at the abbey of Fossanova, 
in Campagna." G. Villani, lib. ix. 
12 "Another Charles." Charles of Valois, 
brother of Philip IV, was sent by Pope 
Boniface VIII to settle the disturbed state 
of Florence. In consequence of the meas- 
ures he adopted for that purpose, our 
Poet and his friends were condemned to 
exile and death. 
13 "- with that lance." 
If I remember right, in one of the old 
romances, Judas is represented tilting with 
our Saviour. 
14 "The other." Charles, King of 
Naples, the eldest son of Charles of Anjou, 
having, contrary to the directions of his 
father, engaged with Ruggieri de Lauria. 
the admiral of Peter of Arragon, was 
made prisoner, and carried into Sicily, 
June, 1284. He afterward, in considera- 
tion of a large sum of money, married 
his daughter to Azzo VIII, Marquis of 
Ferrara. 



228 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XX 


Had stept on shore) exposing to the mart 
His daughter, whom he bargains for, as do 
The Corsairs for their slaves. a avarice! 
What canst thou more, \vho hast subdued our blood 
So \vholly to thyself, they feel no care 
Of their own flesh? To hide with direr guilt 
Past ill and future, 101 the flower-de-Iuce I5 
Enters Alagna; in his Vicar Christ 
Himself a captive, and his mockery 
Acted again. Lo! to his holy lip 
The vinegar and gall once more applied; 
And he 'twixt living robbers doom'd to bleed. 
Lo! the ne\v Pilate, of \vhose cruelty 
Such violence cannot fill the measure up, 
With no decree to sanction, pushes on 
Into the temple 16 his yet eager sails. 
"0 sovran Master! when shall I rejoice 
To see the vengeance, which Thy wrath, well-pleased, 
In secret silence broods?-While daylight lasts, 
So long what thou didst hear of her, sole spouse 
Of the Great Spirit, and on which thou turn'dst 
To me for comment, is the general theme 
Of all our prayers; but, when it darkens, then 
A different strain we utter; then record 
Pygmalion, whom his gluttonous thirst of gold 
Made traitor, robber, parricide: the \voes 
Of Midas, which his greedy wish ensued, 
Mark'd for derision to all future times: 
And the fond Achan,17 how he stole the prey, 
That yet he seems by Joshua's ire pursued. 
Sapphira with her husband next we blame; 
And praise the forefeet, that with furious ramp 
15 "The flower-de-luce." Boniface VIII annalist in the next chapter. Thus, says 
was seized at Alagna in Campagna, by Landino, was verified the prophecy of 
the order of Philip IV, in the year 1303, Celestine respecting him, that he should 
and soon after died of grief. G. Villani, enter on the popedom like a fox, reign 
lib. viii. cap. lxiii. "As it pleased God, like a lion, and die like a dog. 
the heart of Boniface being petrified with 16 It is uncertain whether our Poet 
grief, through the injury he had sustained, alludes still to the event mentioned in 
when he came to Rome, he fell into a the preceding note, or to the destruction 
strange malady, for he gnawed himself of the order of the Templars in 1310, 
as one frantic, and in this state expired." but the latter appears more probable. 
His character is strongly drawn by the 17 "Achan." Joshua vii. 



CANTO X}. 


PURGATORY 


229 


Spurn'd Heliodorus. 18 All the mountain round 
Rings with the infamy of Thracia's king,19 
Who slew his Phrygian charge: and last a shout 
Ascends: 'Declare, 0 Crassus !20 for thou know'st, 
The flavour of thy gold.' The voice of each 
Now high, now low, as each his impulse prompts, 
Is led through many a pitch, acute or grave. 
Therefore, not singly, I erewhile rehearsed 
That blessedness we tell of in the day: 
But near me, none, beside, his accent raised." 
From him we now had parted, and essay'd 
With utmost efforts to surmount the way; 
When I did feel, as nodding to its fall, 
The mountain tremble; whence an icy chill 
Seized on me, as on one to death convey'd. 
So shook not Delos, when Latona there 
Couch'd to bring forth the twin-born eyes of Heaven. 
Forthwith from every side a shout arose 
So vehement, that suddenly my guide 
Drew near, and cried: "Doubt not, while I conduct thee." 
"Glory!" all shouted (such the sounds mine ear 
Gather'd from those, who near me swell'd the sounds), 
"Glory in the highest be to God." We stood 
Immovably suspended, like to those, 
The shepherds, who first heard in Bethlehem's field 
That song: till ceased the trembling, and the song 
Was ended: then our hallow'd path resumed, 
Eying the prostrate shadows, who renew'd 
Their custom'd mourning. Never in my breast 
Did ignorance so struggle with desire 
Of knowledge, if my memory do not err, 
As in that moment; nor through haste dared I 
To question, nor myself could aught discern. 
So on I fared, in thoughtfulness and dread. 


18 "Heliodorus." "For there appeared 
unto them an horse, with a terrible rider 
upon him, and adorned with a very fair 
covering, and he ran fiercely and smote 
at Heliodorus with his fore feet." 2 
Maccabees iii. 25. 


19 "Thracia's king." Polymnestor, the 
murderer of Polydorus. Hell, Canto xxx. 
19. 
20 "Crassus." Marcus Crassus, who fell 
miserably in the Parthian war. 



23 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXI 


CANTO XXI 


ARGUMENT.-The two Poets are overtaken by the spirit of Statius, who, being 
cleansed, is on his way to Paradise, and who explains the cause of the mountain 
shaking, and of the hymn; his joy at beholding Virgil. 
T HE natural thirst, ne'er quench'd but from the well 1 
Whereof the woman of Samaria craved, 
Excited; haste, along the cumber'd path, 
After my guide, impell'd; and pity moved 
My bosom for the 'vengeful doom though just. 
When lo! even as Luke 2 relates, that Christ 
Appear'd unto the two upon their way, 
New-risen from His vaulted grave; to us 
A shade appear'd, and after us approach'd, 
Contemplating the crowd beneath its feet. 
We were not ware of it; so first it spake, 
Saying, "God give you peace, my brethren!" then 
Sudden we turn'd: and Virgil such salute, 
As fitted that kind greeting, gave; and cried: 
"Peace in the blessed council be thy lot, 
A warded by that righteous court which me 
To everlasting banishment exiles." 
"How!" he exclaim'd, nor from his speed meanwhile 
Desisting; "If that ye be spirits whom God 
Vouchsafes not room above; who up the height 
Has been thus far your guide?" To whom the bard: 
"If thou observe the tokens,3 which this man, 
Traced by the finger of the Angel, bears; 
'Tis plain that in the kingdom of the just 
He needs must share. But sithence she,4 whose wheel 
Spins day and night, for him not yet had drawn 
That yarn, which on the fatal distaff piled, 
Clotho apportions to each wight that breathes; 
His soul, that sister is to mine and thine, 
Not of herself could mount; for not like ours 


1 "The well." liThe woman saith unto 
him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst 
not."-John, iv. 15. 
2 "Luke." Chapter xxiv. 13. 
3 "The tokens." The letter P for Pec- 
cata, sins, inscribed upon his forehead by 


the Angel, in order to his being cleared 
of them in his passage through Purgatory 
to Paradise. 
4 "She." Lachesis, one of the three 
fates. 



CANTO XXI 


23 1 


PURGATORY 
Her ken: whence I, from forth the ample gulf 
Of Hell, was ta' en, to lead him, and will lead 
Far as my lore avails. But, if thou know, 
Instruct us for what cause, the mount erewhile 
Thus shook, and trembled: wherefore all at once 
Seem'd shouting, even from his wave-wash'd foot." 
That questioning so tallied with my wish, 
The thirst did feel abatement of its edge 
E'en from expectance. He forthwith replied: 
"In its devotion, nought irregular 
This mount can witness, or by punctual rule 
U nsanction' d; here from every change exempt, 
Other than that, which Heaven in itself 
Doth of itself receive, no influence 
Can reach us. Tempest none, shower, hail, or snow, 
Hoar frost, or dewy moistness, higher falls 
Than that brief scale of threefold steps: thick clouds, 
Nor scudding rack, are ever seen: swift glance 
Ne'er lightens; nor Thaumantian Iris gleams, 
That yonder often shifts on each side Heaven. 
Vapour adust doth never mount above 
The highest of the trinal stairs, whereon 
Peter's vicegerent stands. Lower perchance, 
With various motion rock'd, trembles the soil: 
But here, through wind in earth's deep hollow pent, 
I know not how, yet never trembled: then 
Trembles, when any spirit feels itself 
So purified, that it may rise, or move 
For rising; and such loud acclaim ensues. 
Purification, by the will alone, 
Is proved, that free to change society 
Seizes the soul rejoicing in her will. 
Desire of bliss is present from the first; 
But strong propension hinders, to that wish 
By the just ordinance of Heaven opposed; 
Propension now as eager to fulfill 
The allotted torment, as erewhile to sin. 
And I, who in this punishment had lain 
Five hundred years and more, but now have felt 
Free wish for happier clime. Therefore thou felt'st 



23 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXI 


The mountain tremble; and the spirits devout 
Heard'st, over all his limits, utter praise 
To that liege Lord, whom I entreat their joy 
To hasten." Thus he spake: and, since the draught 
Is grateful ever as the thirst is keen, 
No words may speak my fullness of content. 
"Now," said the instructor sage, "I see the net 
That takes ye here; and how the toils are loosed; 
Why rocks the mountain, and why ye rejoice. 
Vouchsafe, that from thy lips I next may learn 
Who on the earth thou wast; and wherefore here, 
So many an age, wert prostrate.,,_"In that time, 
When the good Titus,5 with Heaven's King to help, 
A venged those piteous gashes, whence the blood 
By Judas sold did issue; with the name 6 
Most lasting and most honor'd, there, was I 
Abundantly renown'd," the shade replied, 
"Not yet with faith endued. So passing sweet 
My vocal spirit; from Tolosa, Rome 
To herself drew me, where I merited 
A myrtle garland to inwreathe my brow. 
Statius they name me still. Of Thebes I sang, 
And next of great Achilles; but i' the way 
Fell with the second burden. Of my flame 
Those sparkles were the seeds, which I derived 
From the bright fountain of celestial fire 
That feeds unnumber'd lamps; the song I mean 
Which sounds Æneas' wanderings: that the breast 
I hung at; that the nurse, from whom my veins 
Drank inspiration: whose authority 
Was ever sacred with me. To have lived 
Coeval with the Mantuan, I would bide 
The revolution of another sun 
Beyond my stated years in banishment." 
The Mantuan, when he heard him, turn'd to me; 
And holding silence,by his countenance 
Enjoin'd me silence: but the power, which wills, 


. 

 "When the good Titus." When it 
was so ordered by the divine Providence 
that Titus, by the destruction of Jeru- 


salem, should avenge the death of our 
Saviour on the Jews. 
6 "The name." The name of Poet. 



CANTO XXI 


PURGATORY 


233 


Bears not supreme control: laughter and tears 
Follow so closely on the passion prompts them, 
They wait not for the motions of the will 
In natures most sincere. I did but smile, 
As one who winks; and thereupon the shade 
Broke off, and peer'd into mine eyes, where best 
Our looks interpret. "So to good event 
Mayst thou conduct such great emprise," he cried, 
"Say, why across thy visage beam'd, but now, 
The lightning of a smile." On either part 
Now am I straiten'd; one conjures me speak, 
The other to silence binds me: whence a sigh 
I utter, and the sigh is heard. "Speak on," 
The teacher cried: "and do not fear to speak; 
But tell him what so earnestly he asks." 
Whereon I thus: "Perchance, a ancient spirit! 
Thou marvel'st at my smiling. There is room 
For yet more wonder. He, who guides my ken 
On high, he is that Mantuan, led by whom 
Thou didst presume of men and gods to sing. 
If other cause thou deem'dst for which I smiled, 
Leave it as not the true one: and believe 
Those words, thou spakest of him, indeed the cause." 
Now down he bent to embrace my teacher's feet; 
But he forbade him: "Brother! do it not: 
Thou art a shadow, and behold'st a shade." 
He, rising, answer'd thus: "Now hast thou pr
ved 
The force and ardour of the love I bear thee, 
When I forget we are but things of air, 
And, as a substance, treat an empty shade." 



234 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXII 


CANTO XXII 


ARGUMENT.-Dante, Virgil, and Statius mount to the sixth cornice, where the sin 
of gluttony is cleansed, the two Latin Poets discoursing by the way. Turning to the 
right, they find a tree hung with sweet-smelling fruit, and watered by a shower 
that issues from the rock. Voices are heard to proceed from among the leaves, 
recording examples of temperance. 


N ow we had left the Angel, who had turn'd 
To the sixth circle our ascending step; 
One gash from off my forehead razed; while 
they, 
Whose wishes tend to justice, shouted forth, 
"Blessed !"1 and ended with "I thirst"; and I, 
More nimble than along the other straits, 
So journey'd, that, without the sense of toil, 
I follow'd upwards the swift-footed shades; 
When Virgil thus began: "Let its pure flame 
From virtue flow, and love can never fail 
To warm another's bosom, so the light 
Shine manifestly forth. Hence, from that hour, 
When, 'mongst us in the purlieus of the deep, 
Came down the spirit of Aquinum's bard, 
Who told of thine affection, my good will 
Hath been for thee of quality as strong 
As ever link'd itself to one not seen. 
Therefore these stairs will now seem short to me. 
But tell me: and, if too secure, I loose 
The rein with a friend's licence, as a friend 
Forgive me, and speak now as with a friend: 
How chanced it covetous desire could find 
Place in that bosom, 'midst such ample store 
Of wisdom, as thy zeal had treasured there?" 
First somewhat moved to laughter by his words, 
Statius replied: "Each syllable of thine 
Is a dear pledge of love. Things oft appear, 
That minister false matter to our doubts, 
When their true causes are removed from sight. 
Thy question doth assure me, thou believest 
I was on earth a covetous man; perhaps 
1 "Blessed." uBlessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for 
they shall be fillcd."-Matt. v. 6. 



CANTO XXII 


PURGATORY 


235 


Because thou found'st me in that circle placed. 
Know then I \vas too wide of avarice: 
And e'en for that excess, thousands of moons 
Have wax'd and waned upon my sufferings. 
And were it not that I with heedful care 
Noted, where thou exclaim'st, as if in ire, 
With human nature, 'Why, thou cursed thirst 
Of gold! clost not with juster measure guide 
The appetite of mortals?' I had met 
The fierce encounter of the voluble rock. 
Then was I ware that, with too ample wing, 
The hands may haste to lavishment; and turn'd, 
As from my other evil, so from this, 
In penitence. How many from their grave 
Shall with shorn locks 2 arise, who living, ay, 
And at life's last extreme, of this offence, 
Through ignorance, did not repent! And know, 
The fault, which lies direct from any sin 
In level opposition, here, with that, 
Wastes its green rankness on one common heap. 
Therefore, if I have been with those, who wail 
Their avarice, to cleanse me; through reverse 
Of their transgression, such hath been my lot." 
To whom the sovran of the pastoral song: 
"While thou didst sing that cruel warfare waged 
By the twin sorrow of Jocasta's womb 3 
From thy discourse with Clio there, it seems 
As faith had not been thine; without the which, 
Good deeds suffice not. And if so, what sun 
Rose on thee, or what candle pierced the dark, 
That thou didst after see to hoise the sail, 
And follow where the fisherman had led?" 
He answering thus: "By thee conducted first, 
I enter'd the Parnassian grots, and quaff'd 
Of the clear spring: illumined first by thee, 
Open'd mine eyes to God. Thou didst, as one 
Who, journeying through the darkness, bears a light 
Behind, that profits not himself, but makes 


2 "With shorn locks." See Hell, Canto 
vii, 58. 


3 "The twin sorrow of Jocasta's womb." 
Eteocles and Polynices. 



23 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXII 


His followers wise, when thou exclaimed'st, 'Lo! 
A renovated world, Justice return'd, 
Times of primeval innocence restored, 
And a new race descended from above.' 
Poet and Christian both to thee lowed. 
That thou mayst mark more clearly what I trace, 
Myhand shall stretch forth to inform the lines 
With livelier colouring. Soon o'er all the world, 
By messengers from Heaven, the true belief 
Teem'd now prolific; and that word of thine, 
Accordant, to the new instructors chimed. 
Induced by which agreement, I was wont 
Resort to them; and soon their sanctity 
So won upon me, that, Domitian's rage 
Pursuing them, I mix'd my tears with theirs; 
And, while on earth I stay'd, still succor'd them; 
And their most righteous customs made me scorn 
All sects besides. Before I led the Greeks, 
In tuneful fiction, to the streams of Thebes, 
I was baptized; but secretly, through fear, 
Remain'd a Christian, and conform'd long time 
To Pagan rites. Four centuries and more, 
I, for that lukewarmness, was fain to pace 
Round the fourth circle. Thou then, who hast raised 
The covering which did hide such blessing from me, 
Whilst much of this ascent is yet to climb, 
Say, if thou know, where our old Terence bides, 
Cæcilius, Plautus, Varro: if condemn'd 
They dwell, and in what province of the deep." 
"These," said my guide, "with Persius and myself, 
And others many more, are with that Greek, i 
Of mortals, the most cherish'd by the Nine, 
In the first ward 5 of darkness. There, oft-times, 
We of that mount hold converse, on whose top 
For aye our nurses live. We have the bard 
Of Pella,6 and the Teian,7 Agatho, 
Simonides, and many a Grecian else 
Ingarlanded with laurel. Of thy train, 


-<< ..That Greek." Homer. 
S "In the first ward." In Limbo. 


6 Euripides. 
1 u The Teian." Anacreon. 



CANTO XXII 


PURGATORY 


237 


Antigone is there, Deiphile, 
Argia, and as sorrowful as erst 
Ismene, and who show'd Langia's wave: 8 
Deidamia with her sisters there, 
And blind Tiresias' daughter,9 and the bride 
Sea-born of Peleus." 10 Either poet now 
Was silent; and no longer by the ascent 
Or the steep walls obstructed, round them cast 
Inquiring eyes. Four handmaids of the day 
Had finish'd now their office, and the fifth 
Was at the chariot-beam, directing still 
Its Barny point aloof; when thus my guide: 
"Methinks, it well behoves us to the brink 
Bend the right shoulder, circuiting the mount, 
As we have ever used." So custom there 
Was usher to the road; the which we chose 
Less doubtful, as that worthy shade ll complied. 
They on before me went: I sole pursued, 
Listening their speech, that to my thoughts convey'd 
Mysterious lessons of sweet poesy. 
But soon they ceased; for midway of the road 
A tree we found, with goodly fruitage hung, 
And pleasant to the smell: and as a fir, 
Upward from bough to bough, less ample spreads; 
So downward this less ample spread; that none, 
Methinks, aloft may climb. Upon the side, 
That closed our path, a liquid crystal fell 
From the steep rock, and through the sprays above 
Streanl'd showering. With associate step the bards 
Drew near the plant; and, from amidst the leaves, 
A voice was heard: "Ye shall be chary of me;" 
And after added: "Mary took more thought 
For joy and honour of the nuptial feast, 
Than for herself, who answers now for you. 


8 Hypsipile. 
9 ICTiresias' daughter." Dante, as some 
have thought, had forgotten that he had 
placed Manto, the daughter of Tiresias, 
among the sorcerers. See Hell, Canto xx. 
Vellutello endeavors to reconcile the ap- 
parent inconsistency, by observing, that 


although she was placed there as a sinner, 
yet, as one of famous memory, she had 
also a place among the worthies in 
Limbo. 
10 Thetis. 
lllCThat worthy shade." Statius. 



23 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIII 


The women of old Rome were satisfied 
With water for their beverage. Daniel 12 fed 
On pulse, and wisdom gain'd. The primal age 
Was beautiful as gold: and hunger then 
Made acorns tasteful; thirst, each rivulet 
R un nectar. Honey and locusts were the food, 
Whereon the Baptist in the wilderness 
Fed, and that eminence of glory reach'd 
And greatness, which the Evangelist records." 


CANTO XXIII 


ARGUMENT.-They are overtaken by the spirit of Forese, who had been a friend 
of our Poet's on earth, and who now inveighs bitterly against the immodest dress of 
their countrywomen at Florence. 


O N the green leaf mine eyes were fix'd, like his 
Who throws away his days in idle chase 
Of the diminutive birds, when thus I heard 
The more than father warn me: "Son! our time 
Asks thriftier using. Linger not: away!" 
Thereat my face and steps at once I turn'd 
Toward the sages, by whose converse cheer'd 
I journey'd on, and felt no toil: and lot 
A sound of weeping, and a song: "My lips,! 
o Lord!" and these so mingled, it gave birth 
To pleasure and to pain. "0 Sire beloved! 
Say what is this I hear." Thus I inquired. 
"Spirits," said he, "who, as they go, perchance, 
Their debt of duty pay." As on their road 
The thoughtful pilgrims, overtaking some 
Not known unto them, turn to them, and look, 
But stay not; thus, approaching from behind 
With speedier motion, eyed us, as they pass'd, 
A crowd of spirits, silent and devout. 
12 "Danie1." "Then said Daniel to Mel- should drink: and gave them pulse. As 
zar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had for these four children, God gave them 
set over Daniel, Hananiah, Michael, and knowledge and skill in all learning and 
Azariah, 'Prove thy servants, I beseech wisdom: and Daniel had understanding 
thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse in all visions and dreams."-Ibid. 16, 17. 
to eat, and water to drink.' "-Dan. i. II, 1 "0 Lord, open thou my lips; and my 
12. "Thus Melzar took away the portion mouth shall show forth thy praise."- 
of their meat, and the wine that they Psalm Ii. 15. 



CANTO XXIII 


PURGATORY 


239 


The eyes of each were dark and hollow; pale 
Their visage, and so lean withal, the bones 
Stood staring through the skin. I do not think 
Thus dry and meagre Erisichthon show'd, 
When pinch'd by sharp-set famine to the quick. 
"Lol" to myself I mused, "the race, who lost 
Jerusalem, when Mary with dire beak 
Prey'd on her child." The sockets seem'd as rings, 
From which the gems were dropt. Who reads the name 2 
Of man upon his forehead, there the M 
Had traced most plainly. Who would deem, that scent 
Of water and an apple could have proved 
Powerful to generate such pining want, 
Not knowing how it wrought? While now I stood, 
Wondering what thus could waste them, (for the cause 
Of their gaunt hollowness and scaly rind 
Appear'd not,) 101 a spirit turn'd his eyes 
In their deep-sunken cells, and fasten'd them 
On me, then cried with vehemence aloud: 
"What grace is this vouchsafed me?" By his looks 
I ne'er had recognized him: but the voice 
Brought to my knowledge what his cheer conceal'd. 
Remembrance of his alter'd lineaments 
Was kindled from that spark; and I agnized 
The visage of Forese. 3 "Ah! respect 
This wan and leprous-wither'd skin," thus he 
Suppliant implored, "this macerated flesh. 
Speak to me truly of thyself. And who 
Are those twain spirits, that escort thee there? 
Be it not said thou scorn'st to talk with me." 
"That face of thine," I answer'd him, "which dead 
I once bewail'd, disposes me not less 
For weeping, when I see it thus transform'd. 
Say then, by Heaven, what blasts ye thus? The whilst 
I wonder, ask not speech from me: unapt 
Is he to speak, whom other will employs." 


2 The temples, nose, and forehead are 
supposed to represent this letter [of the 
Latin word (H)OMO-man], and the 
eyes the two O's. 
3 A brother of Piccarda. See also Canto 


xxiv. and Paradise, Canto iii. Cionacci is 
referred to by Lombardi, in order to show 
that Forese was also the brother of Corso 
Donati, our author's political enemy. 



24 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIII 


He thus: "The water and the plant, we pass'd, 
With power are gifted, by the eternal will 
Infused; the which so pines me. Every spirit, 
Whose song bewails his gluttony indulged 
Too grossly, here in hunger and in thirst 
Is purified. The odour, which the fruit, 
And spray that showers upon the verdure, breathe, 
Inflames us with desire to feed and drink. 
Nor once alone, encompassing our route, 
We come to add fresh fuel to the pain: 
Pain, said I? solace rather: for that will, 
To the tree, leads us, by which Christ was led 
To call on Eli, joyful, when he paid 
Our ransom from his vein." I ans\vering thus: 
"Forese! from that day, in which the world 
For better life thou changedst, not five years 
Have circled. If the power of sinning more 
Were first concluded in thee, ere thou knew'st 
That kindly grief which re-espouses us 
To God, how hither art thou come so soon? 
I thought to find thee lower: there, where time 
Is recompense for time." He straight replied: 
"'To drink up the sweet wormwood of affliction 
I have been brought thus early, by the tears 
Stream'd down my Nella's5 cheeks. Her prayers devout, 
Her sighs have drawn me from the coast, where oft 
Expectance lingers; and have set me free 
From the other circles. In the sight of God 
So much the dearer is my widow prized, 
She whom I loved so fondly, as she ranks 
More singly eminent for virtuous deeds. 
The tract, most barbarous of Sardinia's isle,6 
Hath dames more chaste, and modester by far, 
Than that wherein I left her. 0 sweet brother! 
What wouldst thou have me say? A time to come 
Stands full within my view, to which this hour 
Shall not be counted of an ancient date, 


4 In the Ante-Purgatory. See Canto ii. 
:; The wife of Forese. 
6 The Barbagia is a part of Sardinia, to 


which that name was given, on account 
of the uncivilized state of its inhabitants, 
who are said to have gone nearly naked. 



CANTO XXIII 


24 1 


PURGATORY 
When from the pulpit shall be loudly warn'd 
The unblushing dames of Florence, lest they bare 
U nkerchief' d bosoms to the common gaze. 
What savage women hath the world e'er seen, 
What Saracens,7 for whom there needed scourge 
Of spiritual or other discipline, 
To force them walk with covering on their limbs? 
But did they see, the shameless ones, what Heaven 
Wafts on swift wing toward them while I speak, 
Their mouths were oped for howling: they shall taste 
Of sorrow (unless foresight cheat me here), 
Or e'er the cheek of him be clothed with down, 
'Vho is now rock'd with lullaby asleep. 
Ahf now, my brother, hide thyself no more: 
Thou seest how not I alone, but all, 
Gaze, where thou veil'st the intercepted sun." 
Whence I replied: "If thou recall to Inind 
What we were once together, even yet 
Remembrance of those days may grieve thee sore. 
That I forsook that life, was due to him 
Who there precedes me, some few evenings past, 
When she was round, who shines with sister lamp 
To his that glisters yonder," and I show'd 
The sun. "'Tis he, who through profound est night 
Of the true dead has brought me, with this flesh 
As true, that follows. From that gloom the aid 
Of his sure comfort drew me on to climb, 
And, climbing, wind along this mountain-steep, 
\Vhich rectifies in you whate'er the world 
Made crooked and depraved. I have his word, 
That he will bear me company as far 
As till I come where Beatrice dwells: 
But there must leave me. Virgil is that spirit, 
Who thus hath promised," and I pointed to him; 
"The other is that shade, for whom so late 
Your realm, as he arose, exulting, shook 
Through every pendent cliff and rocky bound." 


7 "Saracens." This word, durin
 the 
Middle Ages, was applied to all nations 


(except the Jews) who did not profess 
Christianity. 



24 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIV 


CANTO XXIV 


ARGUMENT.-Forese points out several others by name who are here, like himself, 
purifying themselves from the vice of gluttony; and amongst the rest, Buonaggiunta 
of Lucca, with whom our Poet converses. Forese then predicts the violent end of 
Dante's political enemy, Corso Donati; and, when he has quitted them, the Poet, in 
company with Statius and Virgil, arrives at another tree, from whence issue voices 
that record ancient examples of gluttony; and proceeding forward, they are directed 
by an Angel which way to ascend to the next cornice of the mountain. 


O DR journey was not slacken'd by our talk, 
Nor yet our talk by journeying. Still \ve spake, 
And urged our travel stoutly, like a ship 
When the wind sits astern. The shadowy forms, 
That seem'd things dead and dead again, drew in 
At their deep-delved orbs rare wonder of me, 
Percei ving I had life; and I my words 
Continued, and thus spake: "He journeys up 
Perhaps more tardily than else he would, 
For others' sake. But tell me, if thou know'st, 
Where is Piccarda ? Tell me, if I see 
Any of mark, among this multitude 
Who eye me thus."-"My sister (she for whom, 
'Twixt beautiful and good, I cannot say 
Which name was fitter) wears e'en now her crown, 
And triumphs in Olympus." Saying this, 
He added: "Since spare diet hath so worn 
Our semblance out, 'tis lawful here to name 
Each one. This," and his finger then he raised, 
"Is Buonaggiunta,I-Buonaggiunta, he 
Of Lucca: and that face beyond him, pierced 
Unto a leaner fineness than the rest, 
Had keeping of the Church; he was of Tours,z 
And purges by wan abstinence away 
Bolsena's eels and cups of muscadel." 
He show'd me many others, one by one: 
And all, as they were named, seem'd well content; 
For no dark gesture I discern'd in any. 
I saw, through hunger, Ubaldin0 3 grind 
1 "BuonaggÌunta." Buonaggiunta Urbi. became Pope with the title of Martin IV 
ciani, of Lucca. in 1281, and died in 1285. 
2 "He was of Tours." Simon of Tours 3 Ubaldino degli Ubaldini, of Pila, in 
the Florentine territory. 



CANTO XXIV 


PURGATORY 


243 


His teeth on emptiness; and Boniface,4 
That waved the crozier o'er a numerous flock. 
I saw the Marquis, who had time erewhile 
To swill at F orli with less drought; yet so, 
Was one ne'er sated. I howe'er, like him 
That, gazing 'midst a crowd, singles out one, 
So singled him of Lucca; for methought 
Was none amongst them took such note of me. 
Somewhat I heard him whisper of Gentucca: 
The sound was indistinct, and murmur'd there, 
Where justice, that so strips them, fix'd her sting. 
"Spirit!" said I, "it seems as thou \vouldst fain 
Speak with me. Let me hear thee. Mutual wish 
To converse prompts, which let us both indulge." 
He, answering, straight began: "Woman is born, 
Whose brow no wimple shades yet, that shall make 
My city please thee, blame it as they may. 
Go then with this forewarning. If aught false 
My whisper too implied, the event shall tell. 
But say, if of a truth I see the man 
Of that new lay the inventor, which begins 
With 'Ladies, ye that con the lore of love.' " 
To ,vhom I thus: "Count of me but as one, 
Who am the scribe of love; that, when he breathes, 
Take up my pen, and, as he dictates, write." 
"Brother!" said he, "the hindrance, which once held 
The notary, with Guittone and myself, 
Short of that new and sweeter style I hear, 
Is now disclosed: I see how ye your pI urnes 
Stretch, as the inditer guides them; which, no question, 
Ours did not. He that seeks a grace beyond, 
Sees not the distance parts one style from other." 
And, as contented, here he held his peace. 
Like as the birds, that winter near the Nile, 
In squared regiment direct their course, 
Then stretch themselves in file for speedier flight; 
Thus all the tribe of spirits, as they turn'd 


4 "Boniface." Archbishop of Ravenna. 
By Venturi he is called Bonifazio de' 
Fieschi, a Genoese; by Vellutello, the son 


of the above-mentioned Ubaldini; and by 
Landino, Francioso, a Frenchman. 



244 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
Their visage, faster fled, nimble alike 
Through leanness and desire. And as a man, 
Tired with the motion of a trotting steed, 
Slacks pace, and stays behind his company, 
Till his o'er breathed lungs keep temperate time; 
E'en so Forese let that holy crew 
Proceed, behind them lingering at my side, 
And saying: "When shall I again behold thee?" 
"How long my life may last," said I, "I know not: 
This know, how soon soever I return, 
My wishes will before me have arrived: 
Sithence the place,s where I am set to live, 
Is, day by day, more scoop'd of all its good; 
And dismal ruin seems to threaten it." 
"Go now," he cried: "lo! he,6 whose guilt is most, 
Passes before my vision, dragg'd at heels 
Of an infuriate beast. Toward the vale, 
Where guilt hath no redemption, on its speeds, 
Each step increasing swiftness on the last; 
Until a blow it strikes, that leaveth him 
A corse most vilely shatter'd. No long space 
Those wheels have yet to roll," (therewith his eyes 
Look'd up to Heaven,) "ere thou shalt plainly see 
That which my words may not more plainly tell. 
I quit thee: time is precious here: I lose 
lfoo much, thus measuring my pace with thine." 
As from a troop of well-rank'd chivalry, 
One knight, more enterprising than the rest, 
Pricks forth at gallop, eager to display 
His prowess in the first encounter proved; 
So parted he from us, with lengthen'd strides; 
And left me on the way with those twain spirits, 
Who were such mighty marshals of the world. 


CANTO XXIV 


S "The place." Florence. 
6 "He." Corso Donati was suspected 
of aiming at the sovereiRnty of Florence. 
To escape the fury of his fellow-citizens, 
he fled away on horseback, but fallinR, 
was overtaken and slain, A. D. 1308. The 
contemporary annalist, after relatinR at 
length the circumstances of his fate, adds, 
"that he was one of the wisest and most 


valorous knights, the best speaker, the 
most expert statesman, the most re- 
nowned and enterprising man of his age 
in Italy, a comely knight and of graceful 
carriage, but very worldly, and in his 
time had formed many conspiracies in 
Florence, and entered into many scan- 
dalous practices for the sake of attaining 
state and lordship." G. Villani, lib. v. 



CANTO XXIV 


PURGATORY 


245 


When he beyond us had so fled, mine eyes 
No nearer reach'd him, than my thoughts his words, 
The branches of another fruit, thick hung, 
And blooming fresh, appear'd. E'en as our steps 
Turn'd thither; not far off, it rose to view. 
Beneath it were a multitude, that raised 
Their hands, and shouted forth I know not what 
Unto the boughs; like greedy and fond brats, 
That beg, and answer none obtain from him, 
Of whom they beg; but more to draw them on, 
He, at arm's length, the object of their wish 
Above them holds aloft, and hides it not. 
At length, as undeceived, they went their way: 
And we approach the tree, whom vows and tears 
Sue to in vain; the mighty tree. "Pass on, 
And come not near. Stands higher up the \vood, 
Whereof Eve tasted: and from it was ta'en 
This plant." Such sounds from midst the thickets came 
Whence I, with either bard, close to the side 
That rose, pass'd forth beyond. "Remember," next 
We heard, "those unblest creatures of the clouds,7 
How they their twyfold bosoms, overgorged, 
Opposed in fight to Theseus: call to mind 
The Hebrews, how, effeminate, they stoop'd 
To ease their thirst; whence Gideon's ranks were thinn'd, 
As he to Midian 8 march'd ad own the hills." 
Thus near one border coasting, still we heard 
The sins of gluttony, with woe ere\vhile 
Reguerdon'd. Then along the lonely path, 
Once more at large, full thousand paces on 
We travel'd, each contemplative and mute. 
"Why pensive journey so ye three alone?" 
Thus suddenly a voice exclaim'd: whereat 
I shook, as doth a scared and paltry beast; 
Then raised my head, to look from whence it came. 
Wa
 ne'er, in furnace, glass, or metal, seen 
So bright and glowing red, as was the shape 
I no\V beheld. "If ye desire to mount," 
He cried; "here must ye turn. This way he goes, 
7 The Centaurs. 8 Judges, vii. 



24 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXV 


Who goes in quest of peace." His countenance 
Had dazzled me; and to my guides I faced 
Backward, like one who walks as sound directs. 
As when, to harbinger the dawn, springs up 
On freshen'd wing the air of May, and breathes 
Of fragrance, all impregn'd with herb and flowers; 
E'en such a wind I felt upon my front 
Blow gent! y, and the moving of a wing 
Perceived, that, moving, shed ambrosial smell; 
And then a voice: "Blessed are they, whom grace 
Doth so illume, that appetite in them 
Exhaleth no inordinate desire, 
Still hungering as the rule of temperance wills." 


CANTO XXV 


ARGUl\IENT.-Virgil and Statius resolve some doubts that have arisen in the mind 
of Dante from what he had just seen. They all arrive on the seventh and last cornice. 
where the sin of incontinence is purged in fire; and the spirits of those suffering 
therein are heard to record illustrious instances of chastity. 


I T \-vas an hour, when he who climbs, had need 
To walk uncri ppled: for the sun 1 had now 
To Taurus the meridian circle left, 
And to the Scorpion left the night. As one, 
That makes no pause, but presses on his road, 
Whate'er betide him, if some urgent need 
Impel; so enter'd we upon our way, 
One before other; for, but singly, none 
That steep and narrow scale admits to climb. 
E'en as the young stork lifteth up his wing 
Through wish to fly, yet ventures not to quit 
The nest, and drops it; so in me desire 
Of questioning my guide arose, and fell, 
Arriving even to the act that marks 
A man prepared for speech. Him all our haste 
Restrain'd not; but thus spake the sire beloved: 
"Fear not to speed the shaft, that on thy lip 


1 "The sun." The sun had passed the 
meridian two hours, and that meridian 
W
 now occupied by the constellation of 


Taurus, to which as the Scorpion is op- 
posite, the latter constellation was con- 
sequently at the meridian of night. 



CANTO XXV 


PURGATORY 


247 


Stands trembling for its flight." Encouraged thus, 
I straight began: "How there can leanness come, 
Where is no want of nourishment to feed?" 
"If thou," he answer'd, "hadst remember'd thee, 
How Meleager 2 with the wasting brand 
Wasted alike, by equal fires consumed; 
This would not trouble thee: and hadst thou thought, 
How in the mirror 3 your reflected form 
With mimic motion vibrates; what now seems 
Hard, had appear'd no harder than the pulp 
Of summer-fruit mature. But that thy will 
In certainty may find its full repose, 
Lo Statius here! on him I call, and pray 
That he would now be healer of thy wound." 
"If, in thy presence, I unfold to him 
The secrets of Heaven's vengeance, let me plead 
Thine own injunction to exculpate me." 
So Statius answer'd, and forthwith began: 
"Attend my words, 0 son, and in thy mind 
Receive them; so shall they be light to clear 
The doubt thou offer' st. Blood, concocted well, 
Which by the thirsty veins is ne'er imbibed, 
And rests as food superfluous, to be ta'en 
From the replenish'd table, in the heart 
Derives effectual virtue, that informs 
The several human limbs, as being that 
Which passes through the veins itself to make them'J 
Yet more concocted it descends, where shame 
Forbids to mention: and from thence distils 
In natural vessel on another's blood. 
There each unite together; one disposed 
To endure, to act the other, through that power 
Derived from whence it came; and being met, 
It 'gins to work, coagulating first; 
Then vivifies what its own substance made 


2 Virgil reminds Dante that, as Me- 
leager was wasted away by the decree of 
the fates, and not through want of blood; 
so by the divine appointment, there may 
be leanness where there is no need of 
nourishment. 


3 As the reflection of a form in a mirror 
is modified with the modification of the 
form itself; so the soul, separated from 
the earthly body, impresses the ghost of 
that body with its own affections. 



24 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXV 


Consist. With animation now indued, 
The active virtue (differing from a plant 
No further, than that this is on the way, 
And at its limit that) continues yet 
To operate, that now it moves, and feels, 
As sea-sponge clinging to the rock: and there 
Assumes the organic powers its seed conyey'd. 
This is the moment, son! at which the virtue, 
That from the generating heart proceeds, 
Is pliant and expansive; for each limb 
Is in the heart by forgetful nature plann'd. 
How babe of animal becomes, remains 
For thy considering. At this point, more wise, 
Than thou, has err'd, making the soul disjoin'd 
From passive intellect, because he savv 
No organ for the latter's use assign'd. 
"Open thy bosom to the truth that comes. 
Know, soon as in the embryo, to the brain 
Articulation is complete, then turns 
The primal Mover with a smile of joy 
On such great work of nature; and imbreathes 
New spirit replete with virtue, that what here 
Active it finds, to' its own substance draws; 
And forms an individual soul, that lives, 
And feels, and bends reflective on itself. 
And that thou less may'st marvel at the word, 
Mark the sun's heat; how that to wine doth change, 
Mix'd with the moisture filter'd through the vinc. 
"When Lachesis hath spun the thread,4 the soul 
Takes with her both the human and divine, 
Memory, intelligence, and will, in act 
Far keener than before; the other powers 
Inactive all and mute. No pause allow'd, 
In wondrous sort self-moving, to one strand 
Of those, where the departed roam, she falls: 
Here learns her destined path. Soon as the place 
Receives her, round the plastic virtue beams, 
Distinct as in the Ii ving limbs before: 
And as the air, when saturate with showers, 
""When Lachesis hath spun the thread." When a man's life on earth is at an end. 



CANTO XXV 


PURGATORY 


249 


The casual beam refracting, decks itself 
With many a hue; so here the ambient air 
Weareth that form, which influence of the soul 
Imprints on it: and like the flame, that \vhere 
The fire moves, thither follows; so, henceforth, 
The new form on the spirit follows still: 
Hence hath it semblance, and is shadow call' ò, 
With each sense, even to the sight, indued: 
Hence speech is ours, hence laughter, tears, and sighs, 
Which thou mayst oft have witness'd on the mount. 
The obedient shadow fails not to present 
Whatever varying passion moves within us. 
And this the cause of what thou marvel'st at." 
Now the last flexure of our way we reach'd; 
And to the right hand turning, other care 
Awaits us. Here the rocky precipice 
Hurls forth redundant flames; and from the rim 
A blast up-blown, with forcible rebuff 
Driveth them back, sequester'd from its bound. 
Behoved us, one by one, along the side, 
That border'd on the void, to pass; and I 
Fear'd on one hand the fire, on the other fear'd 
Headlong to fall: when thus the instructor warn'd: 
"Strict rein must in this place direct the eyes. 
A little swerving and the way is lost." 
Then from the bosom of the burning mass, 
"0 God of nlercy I" 5 heard I sung, and felt 
No less desire to turn. And when I saw 
Spirits along the flame proceeding, I 
Between their footsteps and mine own was fain 
To share by turns my view. At the hymn's close 
They shouted loud, "I do not know a man;" 6 
Then in low voice again took up the strain; 
Which once more ended, "To the wood," they cried, 
"Ran Dian, and drave forth Callisto stung 
With Cytherea's poison"; then return'd 
Unto their song; then many a pair extoll'd, 


5 "Summæ Deus clementiæ." The be- 
ginning of the hymn sung on the Sabbath 
at matins, as in the ancient breviaries; in 


the modern it is "summæ parens clemen- 
tiæ. .. 
ð Luke, i. 34. 



25 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
Who lived in virtue chastely and the bands 
Of wedded love. Nor from that task, I ween, 
Surcease they; whilesoe' er the scorching fire 
Enclasps them. Of such skill appliance needs, 
To medicine the wound that healeth last. 


CANTO XXVI 


CANTO XXVI 


ARGUMENT.-The spirits wonder at seeing the shadow cast by the body of Dante 
on the flame as he passes it. This moves one of them to address him. I t proves to 
be Guido Guinicelli, the Italian poet, who points out to him the spirit of Arnault 
Daniel, the Provençal, with whom he also speaks. 


W HILE singly thus along the rim we walk'd, 
Oft the good master warn'd me: "Look thou 
A vail it that I caution thee." The sun [ well. 
Now all the western clime irradiate changed 
From azure tinct to white; and, as I pass'd, 
My passing shadow made the umber'd flame 
Burn ruddier. At so strange a sight I mark'd 
That many a spirit marvel'd on his way. 
This bred occasion first to speak of me. 
" H "o d h " . b . I f " 
e seems, sal t ey, no Insu stantla rame: 
Then, to obtain what certainty they might, 
Stretch'd to\v'rd me, careful not to overpass 
The burning pale. "0 thou! who followest 
The others, haply not more slow than they, 
But moved by reverence; answer me, who burn 
In thirst and fire: nor I alone, but these 
All for thine answer do more thirst, than doth 
Indian or Æthiop for the cooling stream. 
Tell us, how is it that thou makest thyself 
A wall against the sun, as thou not yet 
Into the inextricable toils of death 
Hadst enter'd?" Thus spake one; and I had straight 
Declared me, if attention had not turn'd 
To new appearance. Meeting these, there came, 
Midway the burning path, a crowd, on whom 
Earnestly gazing, from each part I view 
The shadows all press forward, severally 
Each snatch a hasty kiss, and then away. 



CANTO XXVI 


PURGATORY 


25 1 


E' en so the emmets, 'mid their dusky troops, 
Peer closely one at other, to spy out 
Their mutual road perchance, and ho\v they thrive. 
That friendly greeting parted, ere despatch 
Of the first onward step, from either tribe 
Loud clamour rises: those, who newly come, 
Shout "Sodom and Gomorrah!" these, "The cow 
Pasiphaë enter'd, that the beast she woo'd 
Might rush unto her luxury." Then as cranes, 
That part toward the Riphæan mountains fly, 
Part toward the Lybic sands, these to avoid 
The ice, and those the sun; so hasteth off 
One crowd, advances the other; and resume 
Their first song, weeping, and their several shout. 
Again drew near my side the very same, 
Who had erewhile besought me; and their looks 
Mark'd eagerness to listen. I, who twice 
Their will had noted, spake: "0 spirits! secure, 
Whene'er the time may be, of peaceful end; 
My limbs, nor crude, nor in mature old age, 
Have I left yonder: here they bear me, fed 
With blood, and sinew-strung. That I no more 
May live in blindness, hence I tend aloft. 
There is a Dame on high, who wins for us 
This grace, by which my mortal through your realm 
I bear. But may your utmost wish soon meet 
Such full fruition, that the orb of heaven, 
Fullest of love, and of most ample space, 
Receive you; as ye tell (upon my page 
Henceforth to stand recorded) who ye are; 
And what this multitude, that at your backs 
Have pass'd behind us." As one, mountain-bred, 
Rugged and clownish, if some city's walls 
He chance to enter, round him stares agape, 
Confounded and struck dumb; e'en such appear'd 
Each spirit. But when rid of that amaze, 
(Not long the inmate of a noble heart,) 
He, who before had question'd, thus resumed: 
"0 blessed! who, for death preparing, takest 
Experience of our limits, in thy bark; 



25 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVI 


Their crime, who not with us proceed, was that 
For which, as he did triumph, Cæsar heard 
The shout of 'queen,' to taunt him. Hence their cry 
Of 'Sodom,' as they parted; to rebuke 
Themsel ves, and aid the burning by their shame. 
Our sinning was hermaphrodite: but we, 
Because the law of human kind we broke, 
Following like beasts our vile concupiscence, 
Hence parting from them, to our own disgrace 
Record the name of her, by whom the beast 
In bestial tire was acted. Now our deeds 
Thou know'st, and how we sinn'd. If thou by name 
Wouldst haply know us, time permits not now 
To tell so much, nor can I. Of myself 
Learn what thou wishest. Guinicelli I; 
Who having truly sorrow'd ere my last, 
Already cleanse me." With such pious joy, 
As the two sons upon their mother gazed 
From sad Lycurgus 1 rescued; such my joy 
(Save that I more repress'd it) when I heard 
F rom his own lips the name of him pronounced, 
Who was a father to me, and to those 
My betters, who have ever used the sweet 
And pleasant rhymes of love. So naught I heard, 
Nor spake; but long time thoughtfully I \\>'ent, 
Gazing on him; and, only for the fire, 
Approached not nearer. When my eyes were fed 
By looking on him; with such solemn pledge, 
As forces credence, I devoted me 
Unto his service wholly. In reply 
He thus bespake me: "What from thee I hear 
Is graved so deeply on my mind, the waves 
Of Lethe shall not wash it off, nor make 
A whit less lively. But as now thy oath 
Has seal'd the truth, declare what cause impels 


1 Hypsipile had left her infant charge, 
the son of Lycurgus, on a bank, where 
it was destroyed by a serpent, when she 
went to show the Argive army the river 
of Langia; and on her escaping the effects 


of Lycurgus's resentment, the joy her own 
children felt at the sight of her was such 
as our Poet felt on beholding his pred- 
ecessor Guinicelli. 



CANTO XXVI 


PURGATORY 


253 


That love, which both thy looks and speech bewray." 
"Those dulcet lays," I answer'd; "which, as long 
As of our tongue the beauty does not fade, 
Shall make us love the very ink that traced them." 
"Brotherl" he cried, and pointed at the shade 
Before him, "there is one, whose mother speech 
Doth owe to him a fairer ornament. 
He 2 in love ditties, and the tales of prose, 
Without a rival stands; and lets the fools 
Talk on, who think the songster of Limoges 3 
O'ertops him. Rumour and the popular voice 
They look to, more than truth; and so confirm 
Opinion, ere by art or reason taught. 
Thus many of the elder time cried up 
Guittone, giving him the prize, till truth 
By strength of numbers vanquish'd. If thou own 
So ample privilege, as to have gain'd 
Free entrance to the cloister, whereof Christ 
Is Abbot of the college; say to him 
One paternoster for me, far as needs 
For dwellers in this world, where power to sin 
No longer tempts us." Haply to make way 
For one that follow'd next, when that was said, 
He vanish'd through the fire, as through the wave 
A fish, that glances diving to the deep. 
I, to the spirit he had shown me, drew 
A little onward, and besought his name, 
For which my heart, I said, kept gracious room. 
He frankly thus began: "Thy courtesy-4 
So wins on me, I have nor power nor will 
To hide me. I am Arnault; and with songs, 
Sorely waymenting for my folly past, 
Thorough this ford of fire I wade, and see 
The day, I hope for, smiling in my view. 
I pray ye by the worth that guides ye up 


2 Dante and Petrarch place Arnault 
Daniel first among Provençal poets. 
3 Giraud de Borneil, of Sideuil, a castle 
in Limoges. He was a Troubadour, much 
admired and caressed in his day, and 


appears to have been in favor with the 
monarchs of Castile, Leon, Navarre, and 
Arragon. 
-4 Arnault is here made to speak in his 
own tongue, the Provençal. 



254 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVII 


Unto the summit of the scale, in time 
Remember ye my sufferings." With such words 
He disappear'd in the refining flame. 


CANTO XXVII 


ARGUMENT.-An Angel sends them forward through the fire to the last ascent, 
\V hich leads to the terrestrial Paradise, situated on the summit of the mountain. They 
have not proceeded many steps on their way upward, when the fall of night hinders 
them from going further; and our Poet, who has lain down with Virgil and Statius 
to rest, beholds in a dream two females, figuring the active and contemplative life. 
With the return of morning, they reach the height; and here Virgil gives Dante full 
liberty to use his own pleasure and judgment in the choice of his way, till he shall 
meet with Beatrice. 


N OW was the sun 1 so station'd, as when first 
His early radiance quivers on the heights, 
Where stream'd his Maker's blood; while Libra 
hangs 
Above Hesperian Ebro; and new fires, 
Meridian, flash on Ganges' yellow tide. 
So day was sinking, when the Angel of God 
Appear'd before us. Joy was in his mien. 
Forth of the flame he stood upon the brink; 
And with a voice, whose lively clearness far 
Surpass'd our human, "Blessed 2 are the pure 
In heart," he sang: then near him as we came, 
"Go ye not further, holy spirits!" he cried, 
"Ere the fire pierce you: enter in; and list 
Attenti ve to the song ye hear from thence." 
I, when I heard his saying, was as one 
Laid in the grave. My hands together clasp'd, 
And upward stretching, on the fire I look'd; 
And busy fancy conjured up the forms 
Erewhile beheld alive consumed in flames. 
The escorting spirits turn'd with gentle looks 
Toward me; and the Mantuan spake: "My son, 
Here torment thou mayst feel, but canst not death. 
Remember thee, remember thee, if I 
Safe e'en on Geryon brought thee; now I come 
1-fore near to God, wilt thou not trust me now? 


1 "The sun." At Jerusalem it was dawn, in Spain midnight, and in India noonday, 
in Purgatory sunset. 2 "Blessed."-Matt. v. 8. 



CANTO XXVII 


PURGATORY 


255 


Of this be sure; though in its \vomb that flame 
A thousand years contain'd thee, from thy head 
No hair should perish. If thou doubt my truth, 
Approach; and with thy hand thy vesture's hem 
Stretch forth, and for thyself confirm belief. 
Lay now all fear, oh I lay all fear aside. 
Turn hither, and come onward undismay'd." 
I still, though conscience urged, no step advanced. 
When still he saw me fix'd and obstinate. 
Somewhat disturb'd he cried: "1-1ark no\v, my son, 
From Beatrice thou art by this wall 
Divided." As at Thisbe's name the eye 
Of Pyramus was open'd, (when life ebb'd 
Fast from his veins), and took one parting glance, 
While vermeil dyed the mulberry; thus I turn'd 
To my sage guide, relenting, when I heard 
The name that springs forever in my breast. 
He shook his forehead; and, "How long," he said, 
"Linger we now?" then smiled, as one would smile 
Upon a child that eyes the fruit and yields. 
Into the fire before me then he walk'd; 
And Statius, who erewhile no little space 
Had parted us, he pray'd to come behind. 
I would have cast me into molten glass 
To cool me, when I enter'd; so intense 
Raged the con flagrant mass. The sire beloved, 
To comfort me, as he proceeded, still 
Of Beatrice talk'd. "Her eyes," saith he, 
"E'en now I seem to view." From the other side 
A voice, that sang, did guide us; and the voice 
Following, with heedful ear, we issued forth, 
There where the path led upward. "Come," 3 we heard, 
"Colne, blessed of my Father." Such the sounds, 
That hail' d us from within a light, which shone 
So radiant, I could not endure the view. 
"The sun," it added, "hastes: and evening comes. 
Delay not: ere the western sky is hung 
With blackness, strive ye for the pass." Our way 
Upright within the rock arose, and faced 
Such part of heaven, that from before my steps 
3 "Come."-Matt. xxv. 34. 



25 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVII 


The beams were shrouded of the sinking sun. 
Nor many stairs were overpast, when now 
By fading of the shadow we perceived 
The sun behind us couch'd; and ere one face 
Of darkness o'er its measureless expanse 
Involved the horizon, and the night her lot 
Held individual, each of us had made 
A stair his pallet; not that will, but power, 
Had fail' d us, by the nature of that mount 
Forbidden further travel. As the goats, 
That late have skipt and wanton'd rapidly 
Upon the craggy cliffs, ere they had ta' en 
Their supper on the herb, no\v silent lie 
And ruminate beneath the umbrage brown, 
\Vhile noon-day rages; and the goatherd leans 
Upon his staff, and leaning watches them: 
And as the swain, that lodges out all night 
In quiet by his flock, lest beast of prey 
Disperse them: even so all three abode, 
I as a goat, and as the shepherds they, 
Close pent on either side by shelving rock. 
A little glimpse of sky was seen above; 
Yet by that little I beheld the stars, 
In magnitude and lustre shining forth 
With more than wonted glory. As I lay, 
Gazing on them, and in that fit of musing 
Sleep overcame me, sleep, that bringeth oft 
Tidings of future hap. About the hour, 
As I believe, when Venus from the east 
First lighten'd on the mountain, she whose orb 
Seems always glowing with the fire of love, 
A lady young and beautiful, I dream'd, 
'Vas passing o'er a lea; and, as she came, 
1-lethought I saw her ever and anon 
Bending to cull the flowers; and thus she sang: 
"Know ye, whoever of my name would ask, 
That I am Leah: 4 for my brow to weave 


4 Leah, the active life; Rachel, the con- of Julius II in the church a>f S. Pietro in 
templative; Michael Angelo has used these Vincolo. 
allegorical personages on his monument 



CANTO XXVII 


PURGATORY 


257 


A garland, these fair hands unwearied ply. 
To please me at the crystal mirror, here 
I deck me. But my sister Rachel, she 
Before her glass abides the livelong day, 
Her radiant eyes beholding, charm'd no less, 
Than I with this delightful task. Her joy 
In contemplation, as in labour mine." 
And now as glimmering dawn appear'd, that breaks 
More welcome to the pilgrim still, as he 
Sojourns less distant on his homeward way, 
Darkness from all sides fled, and with it fled 
1'Iy slumber; whence I rose, and saw my guide 
Already risen. "That delicious fruit, 
Which through so many a branch the zealous care 
Of mortals roams in quest of, shall this day 
Appease thy hunger." Such the words I heard 
From Virgil's lip; and never greeting heard, 
So pleasant as the sounds. Within me straight 
Desire so grew upon desire to mount, 
Thenceforward at each step I felt the wings 
Increasing for my flight. When we had run 
O'er all the ladder to its topmost round, 
As there we stood, on me the Mantuan fix'd 
His eyes, and thus he spake: "Both fires, my son, 
The temporal and eternal, thou hast seen; 
And art arrived, where of itself my ken 
No further reaches. I, with skill and art, 
Thus far have drawn thee. Now thy pleasure take 
For guide. Thou hast o'ercome the steeper way, 
0' ercome the straiter. La! the sun, that darts 
His beam upon my forehead: lot the herb, 
The arborets and flowers, which of itself 
This land pours forth profuse. Till those bright eyes 5 
With gladness come, which, weeping, made me haste 
To succour thee, thou mayst or seat thee down, 
Or wander where thou wilt. Expect no more 
Sanction of warning voice or sign from me, 
Free of thy own arbitrement to chuse, 
Discreet, judicious. To distrust thy sense 
5 The eyes of Beatrice. 



25 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVIII 


Were henceforth error. I invest thee then 
With crown and mitre, sovereign 0' er thyself." 


CANTO XXVIII 


ARGUMENT.-Ðante wanders through the forest of the terrestrial Paradise, till he 
is stopped by a stream, on the other side of which he beholds a fair lady, culling 
flowers. He speaks to her; and she, in reply, explains to him certain things touching 
the nature of that place, and tells that the water, which flows between them, is here 
called Lethe, and in another place has the name of Eunoe. 


T HROUGH that celestial forest, whose thick shade 
With lively greenness the new-springing day 
Attemper'd, eager now to roam, and search 
Its limits round, forthwith I left the bank; 
Along the champain leisurely my way 
Pursuing, o'er the ground, that on all sides 
Delicious odour breathed. A pleasant air, 
That intermitted never, never veer'd, 
Smote on my temples, gently, as a wind 
Of softest influence: at which the sprays, 
Obedient all, lean'd trembling to that part l 
Where first the holy mountain casts his shade; 
Yet were not so disorder'd, but that still 
Upon their top the feather'd quiristers 
Applied their wonted art, and with full joy 
Welcomed those hours of prime, and warbled shrill 
Amid the leaves, that to their jocund lays 
Kept tenour; even as from branch to branch, 
Along the piny forests on the shore 
Of Chiassi, rolls the gathering melody, 
When Eolus hath from his cavern loosed 
The dripping south. Already had my steps, 
Though slow, so far into that ancient wood 
Transported me, I could not ken the place 
Where I had enter'd; when, behold! my path 
Was bounded by a rill, which, to the left, 
With little rippling waters bent the grass 
That issued from its brink. On earth no wave 
Ho\v cloon soe'er, that would not seem to have 
1 "To that part." The west. 



CANTO XXVIII 


PURGATORY 


259 


Some mixture in itself, compared with this, 
Transpicuous clear; yet darkly on it roll'd, 
Darkly beneath perpetual gloom, which ne'er 
Admits or sun or moon-light there to shine. 
My feet advanced not; but my wondering eyes 
Pass'd onward, o'er the streamlet to survey 
The tender May-bloom, flush'd through many a hue, 
In prodigal variety: and there, 
As object, rising suddenly to view, 
That from our bosom every thought beside 
With the rare marvel chases, I beheld 
A lady2 all alone, who, singing, went, 
And culling flower from flower, wherewith her way 
Was all o'er painted. "Lady beautiful! 
Thou, who (if looks, that use to speak the heart, 
Art worthy of our trust) with love's own beam 
Dost warm thee," thus to her my speech I framed; 
"Ah! please thee hither toward the streamlet bend 
Thy steps so near, that I may list thy song. 
Beholding thee and this fair place, methinks, 
I call to mind where wander'd and how look'd 
Proserpine, in that season, when her child 
The mother lost, and she the bloomy spring." 
As when a lady, turning in the dance, 
Doth foot it featly, and advances scarce 
One step before the other to the ground; 
Over the yellow and vermilion flowers, 
Thus turn'd she at my suit, most maiden-like 
Valing her sober eyes; and came so near, 
That I distinctly caught the dulcet sound. 
Arriving where the limpid waters now 
Laved the greensward, her eyes she deign'd to raise, 
That shot such splendour on me, as I ween 
Ne'er glanced from Cytherea's, when her son 
Had sped his keenest weapon to her heart. 
Upon the opposite bank she stood and smiled; 
As through her graceful fingers shifted still 
2 Most of the commentators suppose estates called the Patrimony of St. Peter, 
that this lady, who in the last Canto is and died in II 15. But it seems more 
called Matilda, is the Countess Matilda, probable that she should be intended for 
who endowed the Holy See with the an allegorical personage. 



260 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVIII 


The intermingling dyes, which without seed 
That lofty land unbosoms. By the stream 
Three paces only were we sunder'd: yet, 
The Hellespont, where Xerxes pass'd it o'er, 
(A curb for ever to the pride of man,3) 
Was by Leander not more hateful held 
For floating, with inhospitable wave, 
'Twixt Sestos and Abydos, than by me 
That flood, because it gave no passage thence. 
"Strangers ye come; and haply in this place, 
That cradled human nature in its birth, 
Wondering, ye not without suspicion view 
My smiles: but that sweet strain of psalmody, 
'Thou, Lord! hast made me glad,' 4 will give ye light, 
Which may uncloud your minds. And thou, who stand'st 
The foremost, and didst make thy suit to me, 
Say if aught else thou wish to hear: for I 
Came prompt to answer every doubt of thine." 
She spake; and I replied: "I know not ho\v 
To reconcile this wave, and rustling sound 
Of forest leaves, \\lith what I late have heard 
Of opposite report." She answering thus: 
"I will unfold the cause, whence that proceeds, 
Which makes thee wonder; and so purge the cloud 
That hath enwrapt thee. The First Good, \vhose joy 
Is only in Himself, created man, 
For happiness; and gave this goodly place, 
His pledge and earnest of eternal peace. 
Favour'd thus highly, through his own defect 
He fell; and here made short sojourn; he fell, 
And, for the bitterness of sorrow, changed 
Laughter unblamed and ever-new delight. 
That va pours none, exhaled from earth beneath, 
Or from the waters, (which, wherever heat 
Attracts them, follow), might ascend thus far 
To vex man's peaceful state, this mountain rose 
So high toward the Heaven, nor fears the rage 
3 Because Xerxes had been so humbled, army, in the hopes of subduin
 Greece. 
when he was compelled to repass the 4 l1 Thou, Lord! hast made me glad."- 
Hellespont in one small bark, after having' Psalm xcii. 4. 
a little before crossed with a prodigious 



CANTO XXVIII 


PURGATORY 


261 


Of elements contending; from that part 
Exempted, where the gate his limit bars. 
Because the circumambient air, throughout, 
With its first impulse circles still, unless 
Aught interpose to check or thwart its course; 
Upon the summit, which on every side 
To visitation of the impassive air 
Is open, doth that motion strike, and makes 
Beneath its sway the umbrageous wood resound: 
And in the shaken plant such power resides, 
That it impregnates with its efficacy 
The voyaging breeze, upon whose subtle plume 
That, wafted, flies abroad; and the other land,s 
Receiving, (as 'tis worthy in itself, 
Or in the clime, that warms it,) doth conceive; 
And from its womb produces many a tree 
Of various virtue. This when thou hast heard, 
The marvel ceases, if in yonder earth 
Some plant, without apparent seed, be found 
To fix its fibrous stem. And further learn, 
That with prolific foison of all seeds 
This holy plain is fill'd, and in itself 
Bears fruit that ne'er was pluck'd on other soil. 
"The water, thou behold'st, springs not from vein, 
Restored by vapour, that the cold converts; 
As stream that intermittently repairs 
And spends his pulse of life; but issues forth 
From fountain, solid, undecaying, sure: 
And, by the Will Omnific, full supply 
Feeds whatsoe'er on either side it pours; 
On this, devolved with power to take away 
Remembrance of offence; on that, to bring 
Remembrance back of every good deed done. 
From whence its name of Lethe on this part; 
On the other, Eunoë: both of which must first 


5 The continent, inhabited by the living, 
and separated from Purgatory by the 
ocean, is affected (and that diversely, ac- 
cording to the nature of the soil, or the 
climate) by a virtue, conveyed to it by 
the winds from plants growing in the 


terrestrial Paradise, which is situated on 
the summit of Purgatory; and this is the 
cause why some plants are found on 
earth without any apparent seed to pro- 
duce them. 



262 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIX 


Be tasted, ere it work; the last exceeding 
All flavours else. Albeit thy thirst may now 
Be well contented, if I here break off, 
No more revealing; yet a corollary 
I freely give beside: nor deem my words 
Less grateful to thee, if they somewhat pass 
The stretch of promise. They, whose verse of yore 
The golden age recorded and its bliss, 
On the Parnassian mountain, of this place 
Perhaps had dream'd. Here was man guiltless; here 
Perpetual spring, and every fruit; and this 
The far-famed nectar." Turning to the bards, 
When she had ceased, I noted in their looks 
A smile at her conclusion; then my face 
Again directed to the lovely dame. 


CANTO XXIX 


ARGUMENT.-The lady, who in a following Canto is called Matilda, moves along 
the side of the stream in a contrary direction to the current, and Dante keeps equal 
pace with her on the opposite bank. A marvellous sight, preceded by music, appears 
in view. 


S INGING, as if enamour'd, she resumed 
And closed the song, with "Blessed they1 whose sins 
Are cover'd." Like the wood-nymphs then, that 
Singly across the sylvan shadows; one [tripp'd 
Eager to view, and one to escape the sun; 
So moved she on, against the current, up 
The verdant rivage. I, her mincing step 
Observing, with as tardy step pursued. 
Between us not an hundred paces trod, 
The bank, on each side bending equally, 
Gave me to face the orient. Nor our way 
Far onward brought us, when to me at once 
She turn'd, and cried : "My brother! look, and hearken." 
And lo! a sudden lustre ran across 
Through the great forest on all parts, so bright, 
I doubted whether lightning were abroad; 
But that, expiring ever in the spleen 


1 "Blessed they."-Psalm xxxii. I. 



CANTO XXIX 


PURGATORY 
That doth unfold it, and this during still, 
And waxing still in splendour, made me question 
What it might be: and a sweet melody 
Ran through the luminous air. Then did I chide, 
With warrantable zeal, the hardihood 
Of our first parent; for that there, where earth 
Stood in obedience to the Heavens, she only, 
Woman, the creature of an hour, endured not 
Restraint of any veil, which had she borne 
Devoutly, joys, ineffable as these, 
Had from the first, and long time since, been mine. 
While, through that wilderness of primy sweets 
That never fade, suspense I walk'd, and yet 
Expectant of beatitude more high; 
Before us, like a blazing fire, the air 
Under the green boughs glow'd; and, for a song, 
Distinct the sound of melody was heard. 
o ye thrice holy virgins! for your sakes 
If e'er I suffer'd hunger, cold, and watching, 
Occasion calls on me to crave your bounty. 
Now through my breast let Helicon his stream 
Pour copious, and Urania 2 with her choir 
Arise to aid me; while the verse unfolds 
Things, that do almost mock the grasp of thought. 
Onward a space, what seem'd seven trees of gold 
The intervening distance to mine eye 
Falsely presented; but, when I was come 
So near them, that no lineament was lost 
Of those, with which a doubtful object, seen 
Remotely, plays on the misdeeming sense; 
Then did the faculty, that ministers 
Discourse to reason, these for tapers of gold 3 
Distinguish; and i' the singing trace the sound 
"Hosanna!" Above, their beauteous garniture 
Flamed with more ample lustre, than the moon 
Through cloudless sky at midnight, in her noon. 
2 "Urania." Landino observes, that in- If rightly thou art call'd." 
tending to sing of heavenly things, he Paradise Lost, b. vii. J. 
rightly invokes Urania. Thus Milton: 3 See Rev. i. 12. 
"Descend from Heaven, Urania, by that 
name 


26 3 



26 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIX 


I turn'd me, full of wonder, to my guide; 
And he did answer with a countenance 
Charged with no less amazement: whence my view 
Reverted to those lo&y things, which came 
So slowly moving toward us, that the bride 
Would have outstript them on her bridal day. 
The lady call'd aloud: "Why thus yet burns 
Affection in thee for these living lights, 
And dost not look on that which follows them?" 
I straightway mark'd a tribe behind them walk, 
As if attendant on their leaders, clothed 
With raiment of such whiteness, as on earth 
Was never. On my left, the watery gleam 
Borrow'd, and gave me back, when there I look'd, 
As in a mirror, my left side portray'd. 
When I had chosen on the river's edge 
Such station, that the distance of the stream 
Alone did separate me; there I stay'd 
!\-fy steps for clearer prospect, and beheld 
The flames go onward, leaving, as they went, 
The air behind them painted as with trail 
Of liveliest pencils; so distinct were mark'd 
All those seven listed colours, whence the sun 
Maketh his bow, and Cynthia her zone. 
These streaming gonfalons did flow beyond 
My vision; and ten paces, as I guess, 
Parted the outermost. Beneath a sky 
So beautiful, came four and twenty elders, 4 
By two and two, with flower-de-Iuces crown'd. 
All sang one song: "Blessed be thou 5 among 
The daughters of Adam! and thy loveliness 
Blessed forever!" After that the flowers, 
And the fresh herblets, on the opposite brink, 
Were free from that elected race; as light 
In heaven cloth second light, came after them 
Four 6 animals, each crown'd with verdurous leaf. 
With six wings each was plumed; the plumage full 


.. "Upon the seats I saw four and 
twenty elders sitting. It-Rev. iv. 4. 
ð "Blessed art thou among women, and 


blessed is the fruit of thy womb."-Luke 
i. 42. 
6 "Four." The four evangelists. 



CANTO XXIX 


PURGATORY 


26 5 


Of eyes; and the eyes of Argus would be such, 
Were they endued with life. Reader! more rhymes 
I will not waste in shadowing forth their form: 
For other need so straitens, that in this 
I may not give my bounty room. But read 
Ezekiel;7 for he paints them, from the north 
How he beheld them come by Chebar's flood, 
In whirlwind, cloud, and fire; and even such 
As thou shalt find them character'd by him, 
Here were they; save as to the pennons: there, 
From him departing, J ohn 8 accords with me. 
The space, surrounded by the four, enclosed 
A car triumphal: 9 on two wheels it came, 
Drawn at a Gryphon'slO neck; and he above 
Stretch'd either wing uplifted, 'tween the midst 
And the three listed hues, on each side, three; 
So that the wings did cleave or injure none; 
And out of sight they rose. The members, far 
As he was bird, were golden; white the rest, 
With vermeil intervein'd. So beautiful 
A car, in Rome, ne'er graced Augustus' pomp, 
Or Africanus': e'en the sun's itself 
Were poor to this; that chariot of the sun, 
Erroneous, which in blazing ruin fell 
At Tellus' prayer devout, by the just doom 
Mysterious of all-seeing Jove. Three nymphs,11 
At the right wheel, came circling in smooth dance: 
The one so ruddy, that her form had scarce 
Been kno\vn within a furnace of clear flame; 


7 "Ezekiel." "And I looked, and be- 
hold, a whirlwind came out of the north, 
a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, 
and a brightness was about it, and out 
of the midst thereof as the color of 
amber, out of the midst of fire. Also out 
of the midst thereof came the likeness of 
four living creatures. And this was their 
appearance; they had the likeness of a 
man. And every one had four faces, and 
every one had four wings.u-Ezekiel, i. 
4, " 6. 
8 "John." "And the four beasts had 


each of them six wings about him."- 
Rev. iv. 8. 
9 Either the Christian Church or per- 
haps the papal chair. 
10 Under the griffin (gryphon), an im- 
aginary creature, the fore-part of which 
is an eagle, and the hinder a lion, is 
shadowed forth the union of the divine 
and the human nature in Jesus Christ. 
11 The three evangelical virtues: Char- 
ity, Hope, and Faith. Faith may be pro- 
duced by charity, or charity by faith, but 
the inducements to hope must arise either 
from one or other of these. 



266 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIX 


The next did look, as if the flesh and bones 
Were emerald; sno\v new-fallen seem'd the third. 
Now seem'd the white to lead, the ruddy now; 
And from her song who led, the others took 
Their measure, swift or slow. At the other wheel, 
A band quaternion,12 each in purple clad, 
Advanced with festal step, as, of them, one 
The rest conducted;13 one, upon whose front 
Three eyes were seen. In rear of all this group, 
Two old men 14 I beheld, dissimilar 
In raiment, but in port and gesture like, 
Solid and mainly grave; of whom, the one 
Did show himself some favor'd counsellor 
Of the great Coan,15 him, whom nature made 
To serve the costliest creature of her tribe: 
His fellow mark'd an opposite intent; 
Bearing a sword, whose glitterance and keen edge, 
E'en as I viewed it with the flood between, 
Appall'd me. Next, four others 16 I beheld 
Of humble seeming: and, behind them all, 
One single old man,17 sleeping as he came. 
With a shrewd visage. And these seven, each 
Like the first troop were habited; but wore 
No braid of lilies on their temples wreathed. 
Rather, with roses and each vermeil flo\ver, 
A sight, but little distant, might have sworn, 
That they were all on fire above their brow. 
Whenas the car \vas o'er against me, straight 
\Vas heard a thundering, at whose voice it seem'd 
The chosen multitude \vere stay'd; for there, 
\Vith the first ensigns, made they solemn halt. 


12 The four moral virtues, of whom 
Prudence directs the others. 
13 Prudence, described with three eyes. 
because she regards the past. the present, 
and the future. 
14 "Two old men." St. Luke, the physi- 
cian, characterized as the writer of the 
Acts of the Apostles, and St. Paul, repre- 
sented with a sword, on account, as it 
should seem, of the power of his style. 
15 Hippocrates, "whom nature made for 


the benefit of her favorite creature, man." 
16 "The commentators," says Venturi, 
"suppose these four to be the four evan- 
gelists; but I should rather take them to 
be four principal doctors of the Church." 
Yet both Landino and Vellutello expressly 
call them the authors of the epistles, 
James, Peter, John, and Jude. 
17 As some say, St. John, under the 
character of the author of the Apocalypse. 



CANTO XXX 


PURGATORY 


26 7 


CANTO XXX 


ARGUME
T.-Beatrice descends from Heaven, and rebukes the Poet. 


S OON as that polar light, 1 fair ornament 
Of the first Heaven, \vhich hath never known 
Setting nor rising, nor the shadowy veil 
Of other cloud than sin, to duty there 
Each one convoying, as that lower doth 
The steersman to his port, stood firmly fix'd; 
Forthwith the saintly tribe, who in the van 
Between the Gryphon and its radiance came, 
Did turn them to the car, as to their rest: 
And one, as if commission' d from above, 
In holy chant thrice shouted forth aloud; 
"Come,2 spouse! from Libanus:" and all the rest 
Took up the song.-At the last audit, so 
The blest shall rise, from forth his cavern each 
Uplifting lightly his new-vested flesh; 
As, on the sacred litter, at the voice 
Authoritative of that elder, sprang 
A hundred ministers and messengers 
Of life eternal. "Blessed 3 thou, who comestI" 
And, "Oh!" they cried, "from full hands scatter ye 
Unwithering lilies": and, so saying, cast 
Flowers overhead and round them on all sides. 
I have beheld, ere now, at break of day, 
The eastern clime all roseate; and the sky 
Opposed, one deep and beautiful serene; 
And the sun's face so shaded, and with mists 
Attemper'd, at his rising, that the eye 
Long while endured the sight: thus, in a cloud 
Of flowers, that from those hands angelic rose, 
And down within and outside of the car 
Fell showering, in white veil with olive wreathed, 
A virgin in my view appear'd, beneath 
1 The seven candlesticks of gold, which 2 "Come with me from Lebanon, my 
he calls the polar light of Heaven itself, spouse, with me, from Lebanon."-Song 
because they perform the same office for of Solomon, iv. 8. 
Christians that the polar star does for 3 "Blessed is he that cometh in the 
mariners, in guiding them to their port. name of the Lord."-Matt. xxi. 9. 



268 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXX 


Green mantle, robed in hue of living flame: 
And o'er my spirit, that so long a time 
Had from her presence felt no shuddering dread, 
Albeit mine eyes discern'd her not, there moved 
A hidden virtue from her, at whose touch 
The power of ancient love was strong within me. 
No sooner on my vision streaming, smote 
The heavenly influence, which, years past, and e'en 
In childhood, thrill'd me, than towards Virgil I 
Turn'd me to leftward; panting, like a babe, 
That flees for refuge to his mother's breast, 
If aught have terrified or \vork'd him woe: 
And would have cried, "There is no dram of blood, 
That doth not quiver in me. The old flame 
Throws out clear tokens of reviving fire." 
But Virgil had bereaved us of himself; 
Virgil, my best-loved father, Virgil, he 
To whom I gave me up for safety: nor 
All, our prime mother lost, avail'd to save 
My undew'd cheeks from blur of soiling tears. 
"Dante! weep not that Virgil leaves thee; nay, 
Weep thou not yet: behoves thee feel the edge 
Of other sword; and thou shalt weep for that." 
As to the prow or stern, some admiral 
Paces the deck, inspiriting his crew, 
When 'mid the sail-yards all hands ply aloof; 
Thus, on the left side of the car, I saw 
(Turning me at the sound of mine own name, 
Which here I am compell'd to register) 
The virgin station'd, who before appear'd 
Veil'd in that festive shower angelical. 
Towards me, across the stream, she bent her eyes; 
Though from her brow the veil descending, bound 
With foliage of Minerva, suffer'd not 
That I beheld her clearly: then with act 
Full royal, still insulting o'er her thrall, 
Added, as one who, speaking, keepeth back 
The bitterest sayipg, to conclude the speech: 
"Observe me well. I am, in sooth, I am 
Beatrice. What! and hast thou deign'd at last 



CANTO XXX 


PURGATORY 


26 9 


Approach the mountain? Knewest not, a man! 
Thy happiness is here?" Down fell mine eyes 
On the clear fount; but there, myself espying, 
Recoil'd, and sought the greensward; such a weight 
Of shame was on my forehead. With a mien 
Of that stern majesty, which doth surround 
A mother's presence to her awe-struck child, 
She look'd; a flavor of such bitterness 
Was mingled in her pity. There her words 
Brake off; and suddenly the angels sang, 
"In thee, a gracious Lord! my hope hath been": 
But 4 went no further than, "Thou, Lord! hast set 
My feet in ample room." As snow, that lies, 
Amidst the living rafters on the back 
Of Italy, congeal'd, when drifted high 
And closely piled by rough Sclavonian blasts; 
Breathe but the land whereon no shadow falls, 
And straightway melting it distils away, 
Like a fire-wasted taper: thus was I, 
Without a sigh or tear, or ever these 
Did sing, that, with the chiming of Heaven's sphere, 
Still in their warbling chime: but when the strain 
Of dulcet symphony express'd for me 
Their soft compassion, more than could the words, 
"Virgin! why so consumest him?" then, the ice 
Congeal'd about my bosom, turn'd itself 
To spirit and water; and with anguish forth 
Gush'd, through the lips and eyelids, from the heart. 
Upon the chariot's same edge still she stood, 
Immovable; and thus address'd her words 
To those bright semblances with pity touch'd: 
"Ye in the eternal day your vigils keep; 
So that nor night nor slumber, with close stealth, 
Conveys from you a single step, in all 
The goings' on of time: thence, with more heed 
I shape mine answer, for his ear intended, 
Who there stands weeping; that the sorrow now 
May equal the transgression. Not alone 


4 "'But." They sang the thirty-first 
Psalm, to the end of the eighth verse. 


What follows would not have suited the 
place or the occasion. 



27 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXX 


Through operation of the mighty orbs, 
That mark each seed to some predestined aim, 
As with aspect or fortunate or ill 
The constellations meet; but through benign 
Largess of heavenly graces, which rain down 
From such a height as mocks our vision, this man 
Was, in the freshness of his being, such, 
So gifted virtually, that in him 
All better habits wondrously had thrived 
The more of kindly strength is in the soil, 
So much doth evil seed and lack of culture 
Mar it the more, and make it run to wildness. 
These looks sometime upheld him; for I show'd 
My youthful eyes, and led him by their light 
In upright walking. Soon as I had reach'd 
The threshold of my second age, and changed 
My mortal for immortal; then he left me, 
And gave himself to others. When from flesh 
To spirit I had risen, and increase 
Of beauty and of virtue circled me, 
I was less dear to him, and valued less. 
His steps were turn'd into deceitful ways, 
Following false images of good, that make 
No promise perfect. Nor avail'd me aught 
To sue for inspirations, with the which, 
I, both in dreams of night, and otherwise, 
Did call him back; of them, so little reck'd him. 
Such depth he fell, that all device was short 
Of his preserving, save that he should view 
The children of perdition. To this end 
I visited the purlieus of the dead: 
And one, who hath conducted him thus high, 
Received my supplications urged with weeping. 
It were a breaking of God's high decree, 
If Lethe should be pass'd, and such foods tasted, 
Without the cost of some repentant tear." 
5 The oblivion of sins. 



CANTO XXXI 


PURGATORY 


27 1 


CANTO XXXI 


ARGUMENT.-Beatrice continues her reprehension of Dante, who confesses his error, 
and falls to the ground; coming to himself again, he is by Matilda drawn through 
the waters of Lethe, and presented first to the four virgins who figure the cardinal 
virtues; these in their turn lead him to the Gryphon, a symbol of our Saviour; and 
the three virgins, representing the evangelical virtues, intercede for him with Beatrice, 
that she would display to him her second beauty. 
" O THOU!" her words she thus without delay 
Resuming, turn'd their point on me, to whom 
They, with but lateral edge,1 seem'd harsh before: 
"Say thou, who stand'st beyond the holy stream, 
If this be true. A charge, so grievous, needs 
Thine own avowal." On my faculty 
Such strange amazement hung, the voice expired 
Imperfect, ere its organs gave it birth. 
A little space refraining, then she spake: 
"What dost thou muse on? Answer me. The wave 
On thy remembrances of evil yet 
Hath done no injury." A mingled sense 
Of fear and of confusion, from my lips 
Did such a "Yea" produce, as needed help 
Of vision to interpret. As when breaks, 
In act to be discharged, a cross-bow bent 
Beyond its pitch, both nerve and bow o'erstretch'd; 
The flagging weapon feebly hits the mark: 
Thus, tears and sighs forth gushing, did I burst, 
Beneath the heavy load: and thus my voice 
Was slacken'd on its way. She straight began: 
"When my desire invited thee to love 
The good, which sets a bound to our aspirings; 
What bar of thwarting foss or linked chain 
Did meet thee, that thou so shouldst quit the hope 
Of further progress? or what bait of ease, 
Or promise of allurement, led thee on 
Elsewhere, that thou elsewhere shouldst rather wait?" 
A bitter sigh I drew, then scarce found voice 
To answer; hardly to these sounds my lips 
, .'With but lateral edge." The words Angel, Dante had thought sufficiently 
of Beatrice, when not addressed directly harsh. 
to himself, but spoken of him to the 



27 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXI 


Gave utterance, wailing: "Thy fair looks withdrawn, 
Things present, with deceitful pleasures, turn'd 
My steps aside." She answering spake: "Hadst thou 
Been silent, or denied what thou avow'st, 
Thou hadst not hid thy sin the more; such eye 
Observes it. But whene' er the sinner's cheek 
Breaks forth into the precious-streaming tears 
Of self-accusing, in our court the wheel 
Of justice doth run counter to the edge. 2 
Howe'er, that thou mayst profit by thy shame 
For errors past, and that henceforth more strength 
May arm thee, when thou hear'st the Syren-voice; 
Lay thou aside the motive to this grief, 
And lend attentive ear, while I unfold 
How opposite a way my buried flesh 
Should have impell'd thee. Never didst thou spy, 
In art or nature, aught so passing sweet, 
As were the limbs that in their beauteous frame 
Enclosed me, and are scatter'd now in dust. 
If sweetest thing thus fail'd thee with my death, 
What, afterward, of mortal, should thy wish 
Have tempted? When thou first hadst felt the dart 
Of perishable things, in my departing 
For better realms, thy wing thou shouldst have pruned 
To follow me; and never stoop'd again, 
To 'bide a second blow, for a slight girl,3 
Or other gaud as transient and as vain. 
The new and inexperienced bird 4 awaits, 
Twice it may be, or thrice, the fowler's aim; 
But in the sight of one whose plumes are full, 
In vain the net is spread, the arrow wing'd." 
I stood, as children silent and ashamed 
Stand, listening, with their eyes upon the earth, 
Acknowledging their fault, and self-condemn'd. 
And she resumed: "If, but to hear, thus pains thee, 
Raise thou thy beard, and lo! what sight shall do." 


2 "The weapons of divine justice are 
bi unted by the confession and sorrow of 
the offender. It 
3 "For a slight gir1." Daniello and 
Venturi say that this alludes to Gentucca 


of Lucca, mentioned in the twenty-fourth 
Canto. 
.( "Bird." "Surely in vain the net is 
spread in the sight of any bird."-Prov. 
i. I 7. 



CANTO XXXI 


PURGATORY 


273 


With less reluctance yields a sturdy holm, 
Rent from its fibres by a blast, that blows 
From off the pole, or from larbas' land, s 
Than I at her behest my visage raised: 
And thus the face denoting by the beard, 
I mark'd the secret sting her words convey'd. 
No sooner lifted I mine aspect up, 
Than I perceived those primal creatures cease 
Their flowery sprinkling; and mine eyes beheld 
(Yet unassured and wavering in their view) 
Beatrice; she, who toward the mystic shape, 
That joins two natures in one form, had turn'd: 
And, even under shadow of her veil, 
And parted by the verdant rill that flow'd 
Between, in loveliness she seem'd as much 
Her former self surpassing, as on earth 
All others she surpass'd. Remorseful goads 
Shot sudden through me. Each thing else, the more 
I ts love had late beguiled me, now the more 
Was loathsome. On my heart so keenly smote 
The bitter consciousness, that on the ground 
O'erpower'd I fell: and what my state was then, 
She knows, who was the cause. When now my strength 
Flow'd back, returning outward from the heart, 
The lady, 6 whom alone I first had seen, 
I found above me. "Loose me not," she cried: 
"Loose not thy hold:" and lor had dragg'd me high 
As to my neck into the stream; while she, 
Still as she drew me after, swept along, 
Swift as a shuttle, bounding o'er the wave. 
The blessed shore approaching, then was heard 
So sweetly, uTu asperges me," that I 
May not remember, much less tell the sound. 
The beauteous dame, her arms expanding, clasp'd 
My temples, and immerged me where 'twas fit 
The wave should drench me: and, thence raising up, 
Within the fourfold dance of lovely nymphs 
Presented me so laved; and with their arm 
They each did cover me. "Here are we nymphs, 
5 "From larbas' land." The south. 6 "The lady." Matilda. 



274 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXI 


And in the heaven are stars. Or ever earth 
Was visited of Beatrice, we, 
Appointed for her handmaids, tended on her. 
We to her eyes will lead thee: but the light 
Of gladness, that is in them, well to scan, 
Those yonder three, of deeper ken than ours, 
Thy sight shall quicken." Thus began their song: 
And then they led me to the Gryphon's breast, 
Where, turn'd toward us, Beatrice stood. 
"Spare not thy vision. We have station'd thee 
Before the emeralds, whence love, erewhile, 
Hath drawn his weapons on thee." As they spake, 
A thousand fervent wishes riveted 
Mine eyes upon her beaming eyes, that stood, 
Still fix'd toward the Gryphon, motionless. 
As the sun strikes a mirror, even thus 
Within those orbs the twyfold being shone; 
Forever varying, in one figure now 
Reflected, now in other. Reader! muse 
How wondrous in my sight it seem'd, to mark 
A thing, albeit steadfast in itself, 
Yet in its imaged semblance mutable. 
Full of amaze, and joyous, while my soul 
Fed on the viand, whereof still desire 
Grows with satiety; the other three, 
With gesture that declared a loftier line, 
Advanced: to their own carol, on they came 
Dancing, in festive ring angelical. 
" T B . , " h . " Oh' 
urn, eatnce. was t elr song: . turn 
Thy saintly sight on this thy faithful one, 
Who, to behold thee, many a wearisome pace 
Hath measured. Gracious at our prayer, vouchsafe 
Unveiled to him thy cheeks; that he may mark 
Thy second beauty, now conceal'd." 0 splendour! 
o sacred light eternal! who is he, 
So pale with musing in Pierian shades, 
Or with that fount so lavishly imbued, 
Whose spirit should not fail him in the essay 
To represent thee such as thou didst seem, 



CANTO XXXII 


PURGATORY 


275 


When under cope of the still-chiming Heaven 
Thou gavest to open air thy charms reveal'd? 


CANTO XXXII 


ARGUMENT.-Dante is warned not to gaze too fixedly on Beatrice. The procession 
moves on, accompanied by Matilda, Statius, and Dante, till they reach an exceeding 
lofty tree, where divers strange chances befall. 


M INE eyes with such an eager coveting 
Were bent to rid them of their ten years' thirst, l 
No other sense was waking: and e'en they 
Were fenced on either side from heed of aught; 
So tangled, in its custom'd toils, that smile 
Of saintly brightness drew me to itself: 
When forcibly, toward the left, my sight 
The sacred virgins turn'd; for from their lips 
I heard the warni
g sounds: "Too fix'd a gaze!" 
Awhile my vision labour'd; as when late 
Upon the o'erstrained eyes the sun hath smote: 
But soon, to lesser object, as the view 
Was now recover'd, (lesser in respect 
To that excess of sensible, whence late 
I had perforce been sunder' d), on their right 
I mark'd that glorious army wheel, and turn, 
Against the sun and sevenfold lights, their front. 
As when, their bucklers for protection raised, 
A well-ranged troop, with portly banners curl'd, 
Wheel circling, ere the whole can change their ground; 
E'en thus the goodly regiment of Heaven 
Proceeding, all did pass us, ere the car 
Had sloped his beam. Attendant at the wheels 
The damsels turn'd; and on the Gryphon moved 
The sacred burden, with a pace so smooth, 
No feather on him trembled. The fair dame, 
Who through the wave had drawn me, companied 
By Statius and myself, pursued the wheel, 
Whose orbit, rolling, mark'd a lesser arch. 
1 "Their ten years' thirst." Beatrice had been dead ten years. 



27 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXII 


Through the high wood, now void, (the more her blame, 
Who by the serpent was beguiled), I pass'd, 
With step in cadence to the harmony 
Angelic. Onward had we moved, as far, 
Perchance, as arrow at three several flights 
Full wing'd had sped, when from her station down 
Descended Beatrice. With one voice 
All murmur'd "Adam"; circling next a plant 
Despoil'd of flowers and leaf, on every bough, 
Its tresses, spreading more as more they rose, 
Were such, as 'midst their forest wilds, for height, 
The Indians might have gazed at. "Blessed thou, 
Gryphon!2 whose beak hath never pluck'd that tree 
Pleasant to taste: for hence the appetite 
Was warp'd to evi1." Round the stately trunk 
Thus shouted forth the rest, to whom return'd 
The animal twice-gender'd : "Yea! for so 
The generation of the just are saved." 
And turning to the chariot-pole, to foot 
He drew it of the widow'd branch, and bound 
There, left unto the stock whereon it grew. 
As when large floods of radiance from above 
Stream, with that radiance mingled, which ascends 
Next after setting of the scaly sign, 
Our plants then burgeon, and each wears anew 
His wonted colours, ere the sun have yoked 
Beneath another star his flamy steeds; 
Thus putting forth a hue more faint than rose, 
And deeper than the violet, was renew'd 
The plant, erewhile in all its branches bare. 
Unearthly was the hymn, which then arose. 
I understood it not, nor to the end 
Endured the harmony. Had I the skill 
To pencil forth how closed the unpitying eyes 
Slumbering, when Syrinx warbled, (eyes that paid 
So dearly for their watching), then, like painter, 
That with a model paints, I might design 


2 "Gryphon." Our Saviour's submission "render unto Cæsar the things that are 
to the Roman Empire appears to be in- Cæsar's." 
tended, and particularly his injunction to 



CANTO XXXII 


PURGATORY 


277 


The manner of my falling into sleep. 
But feign who will the slumber cunningly, 
I pass it by to when I waked; and tell, 
How suddenly a flash of splendour rent 
The curtain of my sleep, and one cries out, 
"Arise: what dost thou?" As the chosen three, 
On Tabor's mount, admitted to behold 
The blossoming of that fair tree,3 whose fruit 
Is coveted of Angels, and doth make 
Perpetual feast in Heaven; to themselves 
Returning, at the word whence deeper sl eeps 4 
Were broken, they their tribe diminish'd saw; 
Both Moses and Elias gone, and changed 
The stole their Master wore; thus to myself 
Returning, over me beheld I stand 
The piteous one,5 who, cross the stream, had brought 
My steps. "And where," all doubting, I exclaim'd, 
"Is Beatrice?"-"See her," she replied, 
"Beneath the fresh leaf, seated on its root. 
Behold the associate choir that circles her. 
The others, with a melody more sweet 
And more profound, journeying to higher realms, 
Upon the Gryphon tend." If there her words 
Were closed, I know not; but mine eyes had now 
Ta'en view of her, by whom all other thoughts 
Were barr'd admittance. On the very ground 
Alone she sat, as she had there been left 
A guard upon the wain, which I beheld 
Bound to the twyform beast. The seven nymphs 
Did make themselves a cloister round about her; 
And, in their hands, upheld those lights 6 secure 
From blast septentrion and the gusty south. 
"A little while thou shalt be forester here; 
And citizen shalt be, forever with me, 
Of that true Rome/ wherein Christ dwells a Roman. 


3 "The blossoming of that fair tree." 
Our Saviour's transfiguration. "As the 
apple-tree among the trees of the wood, 
so is my beloved among the sons:'-Solo. 
mon's Song, ii.3. 


""Deeper sleeps." The sleep of death, 
in the instance of the ruler of the syna- 
gogue's daughter and of Lazarus." 
5 "The piteous one." Matilda. 
6 "Those lights." The tapers of gold. 
1 "Of that true Rome." Of Heaven. 



27 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXll 


To profit the misguided world, keep now 
Thine eyes upon the car; and what thou seest, 
Take heed thou write, returning to that place."8 
Thus Beatrice: at whose feet inclined 
Devout, at her behest, my thought and eyes 
I, as she bade, directed. Never fire, 
With so swift motion, forth a stormy cloud 
Leap'd downward from the welkin's farthest bound, 
As I beheld the bird of J ove 9 descend 
Down through the tree; and, as he rush'd, the rind 
Disparting crush beneath him; buds much more, 
And leaflets. On the car, with all his might 
He struck; whence, staggering, like a ship it reel'd, 
At random driven, to starboard now, o'ercome, 
And now to larboard, by the vaulting waves. 
Next, springing up into the chariot's womb, 
A fox lo I saw, with hunger seeming pined 
Of all good food. But, for his ugly sins 
The saintly maid rebuking him, away 
Scampering he turn'd, fast as his hide-bound corpse 
Would bear him. Next, from whence before he came, 
I saw the eagle dart into the hull 
0' the car, and leave it with his feathers lined: ll 
And then a voice, like that which issues forth 
From heart with sorrow rived, did issue forth 
From Heaven, and "0 poor bark of mine!" it cried, 
"How badly art thou freighted." Then it seem'd 
That the earth open'd, between either wheel; 
And I beheld a dragon l2 issue thence, 
That through the chariot fix'd his forked train; 
And like a wasp, that draggeth back the sting, 
So drawing forth his baleful train, he dragg'd 
Part of the bottom forth; and went his way, 
Exulting. What remain'd, as lively turf 


8 "To that place." To the earth. 
9 "The bird of Jove." This, which is 
imitated from Ezekiel, xvii. 3, 4, is typical 
of the persecutions which the Church sus. 
tained from the Roman emperors. 
10 "A fox." By the fox probably is 
represented the treachery of the heretics. 


11 "With his feathers lined." In allusion 
to the donations made by Constantine to 
the Church. 
12 "A dragon." Probably Mohammed; 
for what Lombardi offers to the contrary 
is far from satisfactory. 



CANTO XXXII 


PURGATORY 


279 


With green herb, so did clothe itself with plumes,t3 
Which haply had, with purpose chaste and kind, 
Been offer'd; and therewith were clothed the wheels, 
Both one and other, and the beam, so quickly, 
A sigh were not breathed sooner. Thus transform'd, 
The holy structure, through its several parts, 
Did put forth heads;14 three on the beam, and one 
On every side: the first like oxen horn'd; 
But with a single horn upon their front, 
The four. Like monster, sight hath never seen. 
0' er it lS methought there sat, secure as rock 
On mountain's lofty top, a shameless whore, 
Whose ken roved loosely round her. At her side, 
As 't were that none might bear her off, I saw 
A giant stand; and ever and anon 
They mingled kisses. But, her lustful eyes 
Chancing on me to wander, that fell minion 
Scourged her from head to foot all o'er; then full 
Of jealousy, and fierce with rage, unloosed 
The monster, and dragg'd on/ 6 so far across 
The forest, that from me its shades alone 
Shielded the harlot and the new-form'd brute. 


13 "With plumes." The increase of 
wealth and temporal dominion, which 
followed the supposed gift of Constantine. 
14 "Heads'" By the seven heads, it is 
supposed with sufficient probability, are 
meant the seven capital sins: by the three _ 
with two horns, pride, anger, and avarice, 
injurious both to man himself and to his 
neighbor: by the four with one horn, 
gluttony, gloominess, concupiscence, and 


envy, hurtful, at least in their primary 
effects, chiefly to him who is guilty of 
them. 
15 "O'er it:' The harlot is thought to 
represent the state of the Church under 
Boniface VIII, and the giant to figure 
Philip IV of France. 
16 "Dragg'd on." The removal of the 
Pope's residence from Rome to Avignon 
is pointed at. 



280 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXIII 


CANTO XXXIII 


ARGUMEsT.-After a hymn sung, Beatrice leaves the tree, and takes with her the 
seven virgins, Matilda, Statius, and Dante. She then darkly predicts to our Poet some 
future events. Lastly, the whole band arrive at the fountain, from whence the two 
streams, Lethe and Eunoë, separating, flow different ways; and Matilda, at the desire 
of Beatrice, causes our Poet to drink of the latter stream. 


" T HE heathen,1 Lord! are come:" responsive thus, 
The trinal now, and now the virgin band 
Quaternion, their sweet psalmody began, 
Weeping; and Beatrice listen'd, sad 
And sighing, to the song, in such a mood, 
That Mary, as she stood beside the Cross, 
Was scarce more changed. But when they gave her place 
To speak, then, risen upright on her feet, 
She, with a colour glowing bright as fire, 
Did answer: "Yet a little while,2 and ye 
Shall see me not; and, my beloved sisters! 
Again a little while, and ye shall see me." 
Before her then she marshaI'd all the seven; 
And, beckoning only, motion'd me, the dame, 
And that remaining sage, 3 to follow her. 
So on she pass'd; and had not set, I ween, 
Her tenth step to the ground, when, with mine eyes 
Her eyes encountered; and, with visage mild, 
"So mend thy pace," she cried, "that if my words 
Address thee, thou mayst still be aptly placed 
To hear them." Soon as duly to her side 
I no\v had hasten'd: "Brothed" she began, 
"Why makest thou no attempt at questioning, 
As thus we walk together?" Like to those 
Who, speaking with too reverent an awe 
Before their betters, draw not forth the voice 
Alive unto their lips, befel me then 
That I in sounds imperfect thus began: 
"Lady! what I have need of, that thou know'st; 
And what will suit my need." She answering thus: 
1 "The heathen." "0 God, the heathen and ye shall not see me; and again a 
are come into thine inheritance."-Psalm little while, and ye shall see me."-John 
lxxix. I. xvi. 16. 
.2 "Yet a little while." "A little while, 3 "That remaining sage." Statius. 



CANTO XXXIII 


PURGATORY 


281 


"Of fearfulness and shame, I will that thou 
Henceforth do rid thee; that thou speak no more, 
As one who dreams. Thus far be taught of me: 
The vessel which thou saw'st the serpent break, 
Was, and is not: 4 let him, who hath the blame, 
Hope not to scare God's vengeance with a SOp.5 
Without an heir forever shall not be 
That eagle,6 he, who left the chariot plumed, 
Which monster made it first and next a prey. 
Plainly I view, and therefore speak, the stars 
E'en now approaching, whose conjunction, free 
From all impediment and bar, brings on 
A season, in the which, one sent from God, 
(Five hundred, five, and ten, do mark him out,) 
That foul one, and the accomplice of her guilt, 
The giant, both, shall slay. And if perchance 
My saying, dark as Themis or as Sphinx, 
F ail to persuade thee, (since like them it foils 
The intellect with blindness), yet ere long 
Events shall be the Naïads, that will solve 
This knotty riddle; and no damage light 
On flock or field. Take heed; and as these \vords 
By me are utter'd, teach them even so 
To those who live that life, which is a race 
To death: and when thou writest them, keep in mind 
Not to conceal how thou hast seen the plant, 
That twice 7 hath now been spoil'd. This whoso robs, 
This whoso plucks, with blasphemy of deed 
Sins against God, who for His use alone 
Creating hallow'd it. F or taste of this, 


4 '.Was, and is not." "The beast that 
was, and is not."-Rev. xvii. I I. 
5 "Hope not to scare God's vengeance 
with a sop." "Let not him who hath oc- 
casioned the destruction of the Church, 
that vessel which the serpent brake, hope 
to appease the anger of the Deity by any 
outward acts of religious, or rather super- 
stitious, ceremony; such as was that, in 
our Poet's time, performed by a murderer 
at Florence, who imagined himself secure 
from vengeance, if he ate a sop of 
bread in wine upon the grave of the per- 


son murdered, within the space of nine 
days." 
6 "That eagle." He prognosticates that 
the Emperor of Germany will not always 
continue to submit to the usurpations of 
the Pope, and foretells the coming of 
Henry VII, Duke of Luxemburg, signified 
by the numerical figures DVX; or, as 
Lombardi supposes, of Can Grande della 
Scala, appointed the leader of the Ghibel- 
line forces. 
7 "Twice." First by the eagle and next 
by the giant. 



282 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXIII 


In pain and in desire, five thousand years 
And upward, the first soul did yearn for him 
\Vho punish' d in himself the fatal gust. 
"Thy reason slumbers, if it deem this height, 
And summit thus inverted, of the plant, 
Without due cause: and were not vainer thoughts, 
As Elsa's numbing waters,8 to thy soul, 
And their fond pleasures had not dyed it dark 
As Pyramus the mulberry; thou hadst seen, 
In such momentous circumstance alone, 
God's equal justice morally implied 
In the forbidden tree. But since I mark thee, 
In understanding, harden'd into stone, 
And, to that hardness, spotted too and stain'd, 
So that thine eye is dazzled at my word; 
I will, that, if not written, yet at least 
Painted thou take it in thee, for the cause, 
That one brings home his staff in wreathed with palm." 
I thus: "As wax by seal, that changeth not 
Its impress, now is stamp'd my brain by thee. 
But wherefore soars thy wish'd-for speech so high 
Beyond my sight, that loses it the more, 
The more it strains to reach it?"-"To the end 
That thou mayst know," she answer'd straight, "the school, 
That thou hast follow'd; and how far behind, 
When following my discourse, its learning halts: 
And mayst behold your art, from the divine 
As distant, as the disagreement is 
'Twixt earth and Heaven's most high and rapturous orb." 
" I b " 1 1 . d " h ' 
not remem er, rep Ie , t at e er 
I was estranged from thee; nor for such fault 
Doth conscience chide me." Smiling she return'd: 
"If thou canst not remember, call to mind 
How lately thou hast drunk of Lethe's wave; 
And, sure as smoke doth indicate a flame, 
In that forgetfulness itself conclude 
Blame from thy alienated will incurr'd. 


B "Elsa's numbing waters." The Elsa, 
a little stream, which flows into the Arno 


about twenty miles below Florence, is said 
to .possess a petrif}'ing quality. 



CANTO XXXIII 


PURGATORY 


28 3 


From henceforth, verily, my words shall be 
As naked, as will suit them to appear 
In thy unpractised view." More sparkling now, 
And with retarded course, the sun possess'd 
The circle of mid-day, that varies still 
As the aspect varies of each several clime; 
When, as one, sent in vaward of a troop 
For escort, pauses, if perchance he spy 
Vestige of somewhat strange and rare; so paused 
The sevenfold band, arriving at the verge 
Of a dun umbrage hoar, such as is seen, 
Beneath green leaves and gloomy branches, oft 
To overbrow a bleak and alpine clift. 
And, where they stood, before them, as it seem'd, 
I, Tigris and Euphrates both, beheld 
Forth from one fountain issue; and, like friends, 
Linger at parting. "0 enlightening beam! 
o glory of our kind! beseech thee say 
What water this, which, from one source derived, 
I tself removes to distance from itself?" 
To such entreaty answer thus was made: 
"Entreat Matilda, that she teach thee this." 
And here, as one who clears himself of blame 
Imputed, the fair dame return'd: "Of me 
He this and more hath learnt; and I am safe 
That Lethe's water hath not hid it from him." 
And Beatrice: "Some more pressing care, 
That oft the memory 'reaves, perchance hath made 
His mind's eye dark. But 10, where Eunoe flows! 
Lead thither; and, as thou art wont, revive 
His fainting virtue." As a courteous spirit, 
That proffers no excuses, but as soon 
As he hath token of another's will, 
Makes it his own; when she had ta'en me, thus 
The lovely maiden moved her on, and call'd 
To Statius, with an air most lady-like: 
"Come thou with him." Were further space allow'd, 
Then, Reader! might I sing, though but in part, 
That beverage, with whose sweetness I had ne'er 



28 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


Been sated. But, since all the leaves are full, 
Appointed for this second strain, mine art 
With warning bridle checks me. I return'd 
From the most holy wave, regenerate, 
E'en as new plants renew'd with foliage new, 
Pure and made apt for mounting to the stars. 


CANTO XXXIII 



PARADISE 


CANTO I 


ARGUMENT.-The Poet ascends with Beatrice toward the first heaven; and is, by 
her, resolved of certain doubts which arise in his mind. 


H IS glory, by whose might all things are moved, 
Pierces the universe, and in one part 
Sheds more resplendence, elsewhere less. In 
That largeliest of His light partakes, was I, [Heaven 
Witness of things, which, to relate again, 
Surpasseth power of him who comes from thence; 
For that, so near approaching its desire, 
Our intellect is to such depth absorb'd, 
That memory cannot follow. N athless all, 
That in my thoughts I of that sacred realm 
Could store, shall now be matter of my song. 
Benign Apollo! this last labour aid; 
And make me such a vessel of thy worth, 
As thy own laurel claims, of me beloved. 
Thus far l hath one of steep Parnassus' brows 
Sufficed me; henceforth, there is need of both 
For my remaining enterprise. Do thou 2 
Enter into my bosom, and there breathe 
So, as when Marsyas by thy hand was dragg'd 
Forth from his limbs, unsheathed. 0 power divine! 
If thou to me of thine impart so much, 
That of that happy realm the shadow'd form 
Traced in my thoughts I may set forth to view; 
Thou shalt behold me of thy favour'd tree 
Come to the foot, and crown myself with leaves: 
For to that honour thou, and my high theme 


1 "Thus far:' He appears to mean 
nothing more than that this part of his 
poem will require a greater exertion of 
his powers than the former. 


2 "Do thou." Make me thine instru- 
ment; and, through me, utter such sound 
as when thou didst contend with Marsyas. 


28 5 



286 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
Will fit me. If but seldom, mighty Sire! 
To grace his triumph, gathers thence a wreath 
Cæsar, or bard, (more shame for human wills 
Depraved), joy to the Delphic god must spring 
From the Peneian foliage, when one breast 
Is with such thirst inspired. From a small spark 
Great flame hath risen: after me, perchance, 
Others with better voice may pray, and gain, 
From the Cyrrhæan city, answer kind. 
Through divers passages, the world's bright lamp 
Rises to mortals; but through that 3 which joins 
Four circles with the threefold cross, in best 
Course, and in happiest constellation 4 set, 
He comes; and, to the worldly wax, best gives 
Its temper and impression. Morning there,S 
Here eve was well-nigh by such passage made; 
And whiteness had o'erspread that hemisphere, 
Blackness the other part; when to the left 6 
I saw Beatrice turn'd, and on the sun 
Gazing, as never eagle fix'd his ken. 
As from the first a second beam is wont 
To issue, and reflected upward rise, 
Even as a pilgrim bent on his return; 
So of her act, that through the eyesight pass'd 
Into my fancy, mine was form'd: and straight, 
Beyond our mortal wont, I fix'd mine eyes 
Upon the sun. Much is allow'd us there, 
That here exceeds our power; thanks to the place 
Made for the dwelling of the human kind. 
I suffer'd it not long; and yet so long, 
That I beheld it bickering sparks around, 
As iron that comes boiling from the fire. 
And suddenly upon the day appear'd 
A day new-risen; as he, who hath the power, 


CANTO I 


3 "Where the four circles, the horizon, 
the zodiac, the equator, and the equinoc- 
tial colure join; the last three intersect- 
ing each other so as to form three crosses, 
as may be seen in the armillary sphere." 
} Aries. Some understand the planet 
Venus by the "migliore stella." 


5 "Morning there." It was morning 
where he then was, and about eventide 
on the earth. 
6 "To the left." Being in the opposite 
hemisphere to ours, Beatrice, that she may 
behold the rising sun, turns herself to the 
left. 



CANTO I 


PARADISE 
Had with another sun bedeck'd the sky. 
Her eyes fast fix'd on the eternal wheels, 
Beatrice stood unmoved; and I with ken 
Fix'd upon her, from upward gaze removed, 
At her aspect, such inwardly became 
As Glaucus, when he tasted of the herb 
That made him peer among the ocean gods: 
Words may not tell of that trans-human change; 
And therefore let the example serve, though weak, 
For those whom grace hath better proof in store. 
If I were only what thou didst create, 
Then newly, Lovel by whom the Heaven is ruled; 
Thou know'st, who by Thy light didst bear me up. 
Whenas the wheel which Thou dost ever guide, 
Desired Spirit! with its harmony, 
Temper'd of Thee and measured, charm'd mine ear, 
Then seem'd to me so much of Heaven to blaze 
With the sun's flame, that rain or flood ne'er made 
A lake so broad. The newness of the sound, 
And that great light, inflamed me with desire, 
Keener than e'er was felt, to know their cause. 
Whence she, who saw me, clearly as myself, 
To calm my troubled mind, before I ask'd, 
Open'd her lips, and gracious thus began: 
"With false imagination thou thyself 
Makest dull; so that thou seest not the thing, 
Which thou hadst seen, had that been shaken off. 
Thou art not on the earth as thou believest; 
For lightning, scaped from its own proper place, 
Ne'er ran, as thou hast hither now return'd." 
Although divested of my first-raised doubt 
By those brief words accompanied with smiles, 
Yet in new doubt was I entangled more, 
And said: "Already satisfied, I rest 
From admiration deep; but now admire 
How I above those lighter bodies rise." 
Whence, after utterance of a piteous sigh, 
She toward me bent her eyes, with such a look, 
As on her frenzied child a mother casts; 
Then thus began: "Among themselves all things 


28 7 



288 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO I 


Have order; and from hence the form,7 which makes 
The universe resemble God. In this 
The higher creatures see the printed steps 
Of that eternal worth, which is the end 
Whither the line is drawn. 8 All natures lean, 
In this their order, diversly; some more, 
Some less approaching to their primal source. 
Thus they to different havens are moved on 
Through the vast sea of being, and each one 
With instinct given, that bears it in its course: 
This to the lunar sphere directs the fire; 
This mOVes the hearts of mortal animals; 
This the brute earth together knits, and binds. 
Nor only creatures, void of intellect, 
Are aim'd at by this bow; but even those, 
That have intelligence and love, are pierced. 
That Providence, who so well orders all, 
With her own light makes ever calm the Heaven,9 
In which the substance, that hath greatest speed,10 
Is turn'd: and thither now, as to our seat 
Predestined, we are carried by the force 
Of that strong cord, that never looses dart 
But at fair aim and glad. Yet is it true, 
That as, oft-times, but ill accords the form 
To the design of art, through sluggishness 
Or unreplying matter; so this course 
Is sometimes quitted by the creature, who 
Hath power, directed thus, to bend elsewhere; 
As from a cloud the fire is seen to fall, 
From its original impulse warp'd, to earth, 
By vitious fondness. Thou no more admire 
Thy soaring (if I rightly deem) than lapse 
Of torrent downward from a mountain's height. 
There would in thee for wonder be more cause, 
If, free of hindrance, thou hadst stay'd below, 


7 This order it is, that gives to the 
universe the form of unity, and there- 
fore resemblance to God. 
8 All things, as they have their begin- 
ning from the Supreme Being, so are they 
referred to Him again. 


9 U The Heaven." The empyrean, 
which is always motionless. 
10 "The substance, etc." The primtlm 
mobile. 



CANTO II 


PARADISE 


28 9 


As living fire unmoved upon the earth." 
So said, she turn'd toward the Heaven her face. 


CANTO II 


ARGUMENT .-Dante and his celestial guide enter the moon. The cause of the 
spots or shadows, which appear in that body, is explained to him. 


A L ye, who in small bark have following sail'd, 
Eager to listen, on the adventurous track 
Of my proud keel, that singing cuts her way, 
Backward return with speed, and your own shores 
Revisit; nor put out to open sea, 
Where losing me, perchance ye may remain 
Bewilder'd in deep maze. The way I pass, 
Ne'er yet was run: Minerva breathes the gale; 
Apollo guides me; and another Nine, 
To my rapt sight, the arctic beams reveal. 
Ye other few who have outstretch'd the neck 
Timely for food of angels, on which here 
They live, yet never know satiety; 
Through the deep brine ye fearless may put out 
Your vessel; marking well the furrow broad 
Before you in the wave, that on both sides 
Equal returns. Those, glorious, who pass'd o'er 
To Colchis, wonder'd not as ye will do, 
When they saw Jason following the plough. 
The increate perpetual thirst, that draws 
Toward the realm of God's own form, bore us 
Swift almost as the Heaven ye behold. 
Beatrice upward gazed, and I on her; 
And in such space as on the notch a dart 
Is placed, then loosen'd flies, I saw myself 
Arrived, where wonderous thing engaged my sight. 
Whence she, to whom no care of mine was hid, 
"rurning to me, with aspect glad as fair, 
Bespake me: "Gratefully direct thy mind 
To God, through whom to this first star 1 we come." 
Meseem'd as if a cloud had cover'd us, 
1 "This first star." The moon. 



290 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO II 


Translucent, solid, firm, and polish'd bright, 
Like adamant, which the sun's beam had smite 
Within itself the ever-during pearl 
Received us; as the wave a ray of light 
Receives, and rests unbroken. If I then 
Was of corporeal frame, and it transcend 
Our weaker thought, how one dimension thus 
Another could endure, which needs must be 
If body enter body; how much more 
Must the desire inflame us to behold 
That Essence, which discovers by what means 
God and our nature join'd! There will be seen 
That, which we hold through faith; not shown by proof, 
But in itself intelligibly plain, 
E' en as the truth that man at first believes. 
I answer'd: "Lady! I with thoughts devout, 
Such as I best can frame, give thanks to Him, 
Who hath removed me from the mortal world. 
But tell, I pray thee, whence the gloomy spots 
Upon this body, which below on earth 
Give rise to talk of Cain in fabling quaint?" 
She somewhat smiled, then spake: "If mortals err 
In their opinion, when the key of sense 
Unlocks not, surely wonder's weapon keen 
Ought not to pierce thee: since thou find'st, the wings 
Of reason to pursue the senses' flight 
Are short. But what thy own thought is, declare." 
Then I: "What various here above appears, 
Is caused, I deem, by bodies dense or rare." 
She then resumed: "Thou certainly wilt see 
In falsehood thy belief o'erwhelm'd, if well 
Thou listen to the arguments which I 
Shall bring to face it. The eighth sphere displays 
Numberless lights, the which, in kind and size, 
May be remark'd of different aspects: 
If rare or dense of that were cause alone, 
One single virtue then would be in all; 
Alike distributed, or more, or less. 
Different virtues needs must be the fruits 
Of formal principles; and these, save one, 



CANTO II 


PARADISE 
Will by thy reasoning be destroy'd. Beside, 
If rarity were of that dusk the cause, 
Which thou inquirest, either in some part 
That planet must throughout be void, nor fed 
With its own matter; or, as bodies share 
Their fat and leanness, in like manner this 
Must in its volume change the leaves. 2 The first, 
If it were true, had through the sun's eclipse 
Been manifested, by transparency 
Of light, as through aught rare beside effused. 
But this is not. Therefore remains to see 
The other cause: and, if the other fall, 
Erroneous so must prove what seem'd to thee. 
If not from side to side this rarity 
Pass through, there needs must be a limit, whence 
Its contrary no further lets it pass. 
And hence the beam, that from without proceeds, 
Must be pour'd back; as colour comes, through glass 
Reflected, which behind it lead conceals. 
Now wilt thou say, that there of murkier hue, 
Than, in the other part, the ray is shown, 
By being thence refracted farther back. 
From this perplexity will free thee soon 
Experience, if thereof thou trial make, 
The fountain whence your arts derive their streams. 
Three mirrors shalt thou take, and two remove 
From thee alike; and more remote the third, 
Betwixt the former pair, shall meet thine eyes: 
Then turn'd toward them, cause behind thy back 
A light to stand, that on the three shall shine, 
And thus reflected come to thee from all. 
Though that, beheld most distant, do not stretch 
A space so ample, yet in brightness thou 
Wilt own it equaling the rest. But now, 
As under snow the ground, if the warm ray 
Smites it, remains dismantled of the hue 
And cold, that cover'd it before; so thee, 
Dismantled in thy mind, I will inform 


29 1 


2 "Change the leaves." Would, like leaves of parchment, be darker in some parts 
than in others. 



29 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO II 


With light so lively, that the tremulous beam 
Shall quiver where it falls. Within the Heaven,3 
Where peace divine inhabits, circles round 
A body, in whose virtue lies the being 
Of all that it contains. The following Heaven, 
That hath so many lights, this being divides, 
Through different essences, from it distinct, 
And yet contain'd within it. The other orbs 
Their separate distinctions variously 
Dispose, for their own seed and produce apt. 
Thus do these organs of the world proceed, 
As thou beholdest now, from step to step; 
Their influences from above deriving, 
And thence transmitting downward. Mark me well; 
How through this passage to the truth I ford, 
The truth thou lovest; that thou henceforth, alone, 
Mayst know to keep the shallows, safe, untold. 
"The virtue and motion of the sacred orbs, 
As mallet by the workman's hand, must needs 
By blessed movers 4 be inspired. This Heaven,5 
Made beauteous by so many luminaries, 
From the deep spirit,6 that moves its circling sphere, 
Its image takes and impress as a seal: 
And as the soul, that dwells within your dust, 
Through members different, yet together form'd, 
In different powers resolves itself; e'en so 
The intellectual efficacy unfolds 
Its goodness multiplied throughout the stars; 
On its own unity revolving still. 
Different virtue 7 compact different 
Makes with the precious body it enlivens, 
With which it knits, as life in you is knit. 


3 According to our Poet's system, there 
are ten Heavens. The Heaven, "where 
peace divine inhabits," is the empyrean; 
the body within it, that "circles round," 
is the primum mobile; "the following 
H('aven," that of the fixed stars; and "the 
other orbs," the seven lower Heavens, 
are Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, 
Mercury, and the Moon. Thus Milton, 
"Paradise Lost" b. iii. 481. 


4 "By blessed movers." By Angels. 
5 "This Heaven." The Heaven of fixed 
stars. 
6 "The deep spirit." The moving 
Angel. 
7 "Different virtue." "There is one 
glory of the sun, and another glory of 
the moon, and another glory of the stars; 
for one star differeth from another star 
in glory."-I Cor. xv. 4 1 . 



CANTO III 


PARADISE 


293 


From its original nature full of joy, 
The virtue mingled through the body shines, 
As joy through pupil of the living eye. 
From hence proceeds that which from light to light 
Seems different, and not from dense or rare. 
This is the formal cause, that generates, 
Proportion'd to its power, the dusk or clear." 


CANTO III 


ARGUMENT.-!n the moon Dante meets with Piccarda, the sister of Forese, who. 
tells him that this planet is allotted to those, who, after having made profession of 
chastity and a religious life, had been compelled to violate their vows; and she then 
points out to him the spirit of the Empress Costanza. 


T HAT sun/ which erst with love my bosom 
warmed, 
Had of fair truth unveil'd the sweet aspect, 
By proof of right, and of the false reproof; 
And I, to own myself convinced and free 
Of doubt, as much as needed, raised my head 
Erect for speech. But soon a sight appear'd, 
Which, so intent to mark it, held me fix'd 
That of confession I no longer thought. 
As through translucent and smooth glass, or wave 
Clear and unmoved, and flowing not so deep 
As that its bed is dark, the shape returns 
So faint of our impictured lineaments, 
That, on white forehead set, a pearl as strong 
Comes to the eye; such saw I many a face, 
All stretch'd to speak; from whence I straight conceived
 
Delusion 2 opposite to that, which raised, 
Between the man and fountain, amorous flame. 
Sudden, as I perceived them, deeming these 
Reflected semblances, to see of whom 
They were, I turn'd mine eyes, and nothing saw; 
Then turn'd them back, directed on the light 
Of my sweet guide, who, smiling, shot forth beams 
F rom her celestial eyes. "Wonder not thou," 


1 "That sun." Beatrice. 
2 "Delusion." "An error the contrary 
to that of Narcissus; because he mistook 


a shadow for a substance; I, a substance 
for a shadow." 



294 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO III 


She cried, "at this my smiling, when I see 
Thy childish judgment; since not yet on truth 
It rests the foot, but, as it still is wont, 
Makes thee fall back in unsound vacancy. 
True substances are these, which thou behold'st, 
Hither through failure of their vow exiled. 
But speak thou with them; listen, and believe, 
That the true light, which fills them with desire, 
Permits not from its beams their feet to stray." 
Straight to the shadow, which for converse seem'd 
Most earnest, I address'd me; and began 
As one by over-eagerness perplex'd: 
"0 spirit, born for joy I who in the rays 
Of life eternal, of that sweetness know'st 
The flavour, which, not tasted, passes far 
All apprehension; nle it well would please, 
If thou wouldst tell me of thy name, and this 
Your station here." Whence she with kindness prompt 
And eyes glist'ring with smiles: "Our charity, 
To any wish by justice introduced, 
Bars not the door; no more than She above, 
Who would have all her court be like herself. 
I was a virgin sister in the earth; 
And if thy mind observe me well, this form, 
With such addition graced of loveliness, 
Will not conceal me long; but thou wilt know 
Piccarda,3 in the tardiest sphere thus placed, 
Here 'mid these other blessed also blest. 
OUf hearts, whose high affections burn alone 
With pleasure from the Holy Spirit conceived, 
Admitted to His order, dwell in joy. 
And this condition, which appears so low, 
Is for this cause assign'd us, that our vows 
Were, in some part, neglected and made void." 
Whence I to her replied: "Something divine 
Beams in your countenances wondrous fair; 
From former knowledge quite transmuting you. 


3 "Piccarda." The sister of Corso 
Donati, and of Forese, whom we have 

een in the Purgatory, Canto xxiv. 


Petrarch has been supposed to allude to 
this lady in his "Triumph of Chastity," 
v. 160, etc. 



CANTO III 


PARADISE 


295 


Therefore to recollect was I so slow. 
But what thou say'st hath to my memory 
Given now such aid, that to retrace your forms 
Is easier . Yet inform me, ye, who here 
Are happy; long ye for a higher place, 
More to behold, and more in love to dwell?" 
She with those other spirits gently smiled; 
Then answer'd with such gladness, that she seem'd 
With love's first Harne to glow: "Brother! our will 
Is, in composure, settled by the power 
Of charity, who makes us will alone 
What we possess, and naught beyond desire: 
If we should wish to be exalted more, 
Then must our wishes jar with the high will 
Of Him, who sets us here; which in these orbs 
Thou wilt confess not possible, if here 
To be in charity must needs befall, 
And if her nature well thou contemplate. 
Rather it is inherent in this state 
Of blessedness, to keep ourselves within 
The Divine Will, by which our wills with His 
Are one. So that as we, from step to step, 
Are placed throughout this kingdom, pleases all, 
Even as our King, who in us plants His will; 
And in His will is our tranquillity: 
It is the mighty ocean, whither tends 
Whatever it creates and Nature makes." 
Then saw I clearly how each spot in Heaven 
Is Paradise, though with like gracious dew 
The supreme virtue shower not over all. 
But as it chances, if one sort of food 
Hath satiated, and of another still 
The appetite remains, that this is ask'd, 
And thanks for that return'd; e'en so did I, 
In word and motion, bent from her to learn 
What web it was,4 through which she had not drawn 
The shuttle to its point. She thus began: 
"Exalted worth and perfectness of life 
4 "What vow of religious life it was that she had been hindered from completing, 
had been compelled to break." 



29 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO III 


The Lady5 higher up inshrine in Heaven, 
By whose pure laws upon your nether earth 
The robe and veil they wear; to that intent, 
That e'en till death they may keep watch, or sleep, 
With their great Bridegroom, who accepts each vow, 
Which to His gracious pleasure love conforms. 
I from the world, to follow her, when young 
Escaped; and, in her vesture mantling me, 
Made promise of the way her sect enjoins. 
Thereafter men, for ill than good more apt, 
Forth snatch'd me from the pleasant cloister's pale. 
God knows 6 how, after that, my life was framed. 
This other splendid shape, which thou behold'st 
At my right side, burning with all the light 
Of this our orb, what of myself I tell 
May to herself apply. From her, like me 
A sister, with like violence were torn 
The saint! y folds, that shaded her fair brows. 
E' en when she to the world again was brought 
In spite of her own will and better wont, 
Yet not for that the bosom's inward veil 
Did she renounce. This is the luminary 
Of mighty Constance, 7 who from that loud blast, 
Which blew the second 8 over Suabia's realm, 
That power produced, which was the third and last." 
She ceased from further talk, and then began 


5 St. Clare, the foundress of the order 
called after her. She was born at Assisi, 
in 1193, and died in 12 53. 
6 Rodolfo da Tossignano, Hist. Seraph. 
Relig., relates the following legend of 
Piccarda: "Her brother Corso, inflamed 
with rage against his virgin sister, having 
joined with him Farinata, an' infamous 
assassin, and twel ve other abandoned 
ruffians, entered the monastery by a lad- 
der, and carried away his sister forcibly 
to his own house; and then tearing off 
her religious habit, compelled her to go 
in a secular garment to her nuptials. 
Before the spouse of Christ came together 
with her new husband, she knelt down 
before a crucifix and recommended her 
virginity to Christ. Soon after her whole 


body was smitten with leprosy; in a few 
days, through the divine disposal, she 
passed with a p
.lm of virginity to the 
Lord. 
7 Daughter of Ruggieri, King of Sicily, 
who being taken by force out of a mon- 
astery was married to the Emperor Henry 
VI and by him was mother of Frederick 
II. She was fiftY years old or more at the 
time, and "because it was not credited 
that she could have a child at that age, 
she was delivered in a pavilion, and it 
was given out that any lady, who pleased, 
was at liberty to see her." 
8 Henry VI, son of Frederick I, was the 
second emperor of the house of Suabia; 
and his son Frederick II "the third and 
last. " 



CANTO IV 


PARADISE 


297 


"Ave Maria" singing; and with that song 
Vanish'd, as heavy substance through deep wave. 
Mine eye, that, far as it was capable, 
Pursued her, when in dimness she was lost, 
Turn'd to the mark where greater want impell'd 
And bent on Beatrice all its gaze. 
But she, as lightning, beam'd upon my looks; 
So that the sight sustain'd it not at first. 
Whence I to question her became less prompt. 


CANTO IV 


ARGUMENT.-While they still continue in the moon, Beatrice removes certain 
doubts which Dante had conceived respecting the place assigned to the blessed, and 
respecting the will absolute or conditional. He inquires whether it is possible to 
make satisfaction for a vow broken. 


B ETWEEN two kinds of food, both equally 
Remote and tempting, first a man might die 
Of hunger, ere he one could freely chuse. 
E'en so would stand a lamb between the maw 
Of two fierce wolves, in dread of both alike: 
E'en so between two deer a dog would stand. 
Wherefore, if I was silent, fault nor praise 
I to myself impute; by equal doubts 
Held in suspense; since of necessity 
It happen'd. Silent was I, yet desire 
Was painted in my looks; and thus I spake 
My wish more earnestly than language could. 
As Daniel, l when the haughty king he freed 
From ire, that spurr'd him on to deeds unj ust 
And violent; so did Beatrice then. 
"Well I discern," she thus her words address'd, 
"How thou art drawn by each of these desires;2 
So that thy anxious thought is in itself 
Bound up and stifled, nor breathes freely forth. 
Thou arguest: if the good intent remain; 
What reason that another's violence 


1 "Daniel. It See Dan. ii. Beatrice did 
for Dante what Daniel did for Nebu- 
chadnezzar, when he freed the King 
from the uncertainty respecting his dream, 


which had enraged him against the 
Chaldeans. See Hell, Canto xiv. 
2 His desire to have each of the doubts, 
which Beatrice mentions, resolved. 



298 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IV 


Should stint the measure of my fair desert? 
"Cause too thou find'st for doubt, in that it seems, 
That spirits to the stars, as Plat0 3 deem'd, 
Return. These are the questions which thy will 
Urge equally; and therefore I, the first, 
Of that 4 will treat which hath the more of gall. 5 
Of Seraphim 6 he who is most enskied, 
Moses and Samuel, and either John 
Chuse which thou wilt, nor even Mary's self, 
Have not in any other Heaven their seats, 
Than have those spirits which so late thou saw'st; 
Nor more or fewer years exist; but all 
Make the first circle 7 beauteous, diversely 
Partaking of sweet life, as more or less 
AfHation of eternal bliss pervades them. 
Here were they shown thee, not that fate assigns 
This for their sphere, but for a sign to thee 
Of that celestial furthest from the height. 
Thus needs, that ye may apprehend, we speak: 
Since from things sensible alone ye learn 
That, whiëh, digested rightly, after turns 
To intellectual. For no other cause 
The Scripture, condescending graciously 
To your perception, hands and feet to God 
Attributes, nor so means: and holy Church 
Doth represent with human countenance 
Gabriel, and Michäel, and him who made 
Tobias whole. Unlike what here thou seest, 
The judgment of Timæus, who affirms 
Each soul restored to its particular star; 
Believing it to have been taken thence, 
When nature gave it to inform her mold: 
Yet to appearance his intention is 


3 "Plato." Plato, Timæus, v. ix. p. 326. 
"The Creator, when he had framed the 
universe, distributed to the stars an equal 
number of souls, appointing to each soul 
its several star." 
4 "Of that." Plato's opinion. 
:; Which is the more dangerous. 
6 She first resolves his doubt whether 
souls do not return to their own stars, 


as he had read in the Timæus of Plato. 
Angels. then, and beatified spirits, she 
declares, dwell all and eternally together. 
only partaking more or less of the divine 
glory, in the empyrean; although, in con- 
descension to human understanding, they 
appear to have different 
pheres allotted 
to them. 
7 "The first circ1e." The empyrean. 



CANTO IV 


PARADISE 


299 


Not what his words declare: and so to shun 
Derision, haply thus he hath disguised 
His true opinion. If his meaning be, 
That to the influencing of these orbs revert 
The honour and the blame in human acts, 
Perchance he doth not wholly miss the truth. 
This principle, not understood aright, 
Erewhile perverted well-nigh all the world; 
So that it fell to fabled names of Jove, 
And Mercury, and Mars. That other doubt, 
Which moves thee, is less harmful; for it brings 
No peril of removing thee from me. 
"That, to the eye of man,8 our justice seems 
Unjust, is argument for faith, and not 
For heretic declension. But, to the end 
This truth 9 may stand more clearly in your view, 
I will content thee even to thy wish. 
"If violence be, when that which suffers, nought 
Consents to that which forceth, not for this 
These spirits stood exculpate. For the will, 
That wills not, still survives, unquench'd, and doth, 
As nature doth in fire, though violence 
Wrest it a thousand times; for, if it yield 
Or more or less, so far it follows force. 
And thus did these, when they had power to seek 
The hallow'd place again. In them, had will 
Been perfect, such as once upon the bars 
Held Laurence lO firm, or wrought in Scævola 
To his own hand remorseless; to the path, 
Whence they were drawn, their steps had hasten'd back, 
When liberty return'd: but in too few, 
Resolve, so stedfast, dwells. And by these words, 
If duly weigh'd, that argument is void, 
Which oft might have perplex'd thee still. But now 
8 "That the ways of divine justice are of the meritorious. After all, Beatrice 
often inscrutable to man, ought rather to ends by admitting that there was a defect 
be a motive to faith than an inducement in the will, which hindered Constance 
to heresy." and the others from seizing the first 
9 "This truth." That it is no impeach- opportunity of returning to the monastic 
ment of God's justice, if merit be lessened life. 
through compulsion of others, without 10 Martyr of the third century. 
any failure of good intention on the part 



3 00 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IV 


Another question thwarts thee, which, to solve, 
Might try thy patience without better aid. 
I have, no doubt, instill'd into thy mind, 
That blessed spirit may not lie; since near 
The source of primal truth it dwells for aye: 
And thou mightst after of Piccarda learn 
That Constance held affection to the veil; 
So that she seems to contradict me here. 
Not seldom, brother, it hath chanced for men 
To do what they had gladly left undone; 
Yet, to shun peril, they have done amiss: 
E'en as Alcmæon, at his father'sl1 suit 
Slew his own mother;12 so made pitiless, 
Not to lose pity. On this point bethink thee, 
That force and will are blended in such wise 
As not to make the offence excusable. 
Absolute will agrees not to the wrong; 
But inasmuch as there is fear of woe 
From non-compliance, it agrees. Of will 13 
Thus absolute, Piccarda spake, and I 
Of the other; so that both have truly said." 
Such was the flow of that pure rill, that well'd 
From forth the fountain of all truth; and such 
The rest, that to my wandering thoughts I found. 
"0 thou, of primal love the prime delight, 
Goddess!" I straight replied, "whose lively \vords 
Still shed new heat and vigour through my soul; 
Affection fails me to requite thy grace 
With equal sum of gratitude: be His 
To recompense, who sees and can reward thee. 
Well I discern, that by that Truth 14 alone 
Enlighten'd, beyond which no truth may roam, 
Our mind can satisfy her thirst to know: 
Therein she resteth, e'en as in his lair 
The wild beast, soon as she hath reach'd that bound. 
And she hath power to reach it; else desire 


11 "His father's." Amphiarãus. 
12 "His own mother." Eriphyle. 
13 "Of will." What Piccarda asserts of 
Constance, that she retained her affection 
to the monastic life, is said absolutely 


and without relation to circumstances; 
and that, which I affirm, is spoken of 
the will conditionally and respectively: 
so that "both have truly said." 
14 The light of divine truth. 



CANTO V 


PARADISE 
Were given to no end. And thence doth doubt 
Spring, like a shoot, around the stock of truth; 
And it is nature which, from height to height, 
On to the summit prompts us. This invites, 
This cloth assure me, Lady! reverently 
To ask thee of another truth, that yet 
Is dark to me. I fain would know, if man 
By other works well done may so supply 
The failure of his vows, that in your scale 
They lack not weight." I spake; and on me straight 
Beatrice look'd, with eyes that shot forth sparks 
Of love celestial, in such copious stream, 
That, virtue sinking in me overpower'd, 
I turn'd; and do\vnward bent, confused, my sight. 


CANTO V 


3 01 


ARGUMENT.-The question proposed in the last Canto is answered. Dante ascends 
with Beatrice to the planet Mercury, which is the second heaven; and here he finds 
a multitude of spirits, one of whom offers to satisfy him of anything he may desire 
to know from them. 


" I F beyond earthly wont, 1 the flame of love 
Illume me, so that I o'ercome thy power 
Of vision, marvel not: but learn the cause 
In that perfection of the sight, which, soon 
As apprehending, hasteneth on to reach 
The good it apprehends. I well discern, 
flow in thine intellect already shines 
The light eternal, which to view alone 
Ne'er fails to kindle love; and if aught else 
Your love seduces, 'tis but that it shows 
Some ill-mark'd vestige of that primal beam. 
"This wouldst thou know: if failure of the vow 
By other service may be so supplied, 
As from self-question to assure the soul." 
Thus she her words, not heedless of my wish, 
Began; and thus, as one who breaks not off 


teclf beyond earthly wont." Dante hav- 
ing been unable to sustain the splendor 
of Beatrice, as we have seen at the end 


of the last Canto, she tells him to at- 
tribute her increase of brightness to the 
place in which they were. 



3 02 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO V 


Discourse, continued in her saintly strain. 
"Supreme of gifts,2 which God, creating, gave 
Of His free bounty, sign most evident 
Of goodness, and in His account most prized 
Was liberty of will; the boon, wherewith 
All intellectual creatures, and them sole, 
He hath endow'd. Hence now thou mayst infer 
Of what high worth the vow, which so is framed 
That when man offers, God well-pleased accepts: 
For in the compact between God and him, 
This treasure, such as I describe it to thee, 
He makes the victim; and of his own act. 
What compensation therefore may he find? 
If that, whereof thou hast oblation made, 
By using well thou think'st to consecrate, 
Thou wouldst of theft do charitable deed. 
Thus I resolve thee of the greater point. 
"But forasmuch as holy Church, herein 
Dispensing, seems to contradict the truth 
I have discover'd to thee, yet behoves 
Thou rest a little longer at the board, 
Ere the crude aliment which thou hast ta'en, 
Digested fitly, to nutrition turn. 
Open thy mind to what I now unfold; 
And give it inward keeping. Knowledge comes 
Of learning well retain'd, unfruitful else. 
"This sacrifice, in essence, of two things 
Consisteth: one is that, whereof 'tis made; 
The covenant, the other. 3 F or the last, 


2 "Supreme of gifts." So in the "De 
Monarchiâ," lib. i. pp. 107 and 108. "If 
then the judgment altogether move the 
appetite, and is in no wise prevented by 
it, it is free. But if the judgment be 
moved by the appetite in any way pre- 
venting it, it cannot be free: because it 
acts not of itself, but is led captive by 
another. And hence it is that brutes 
cannot have free judgment, because their 
judgments are always prevented by ap- 
petite. And hence it may also appear 
manifest that intellectual substances, 
whose wills are immutable, and likewise 


souls separated from the body, and de- 
parting from it well and holily, lose not 
the liberty of choice on account of the 
immutability of the will, but retain it 
most perfectly and powerfully. This 
being discerned, it is again plain that 
this liberty, or principle of all our liberty, 
is the greatest good conferred on human 
nature by God; because by this very thing 
we are here made happy, as men; by this 
we are elsewhere happy, as divine beings." 
3 The one, the substance of the vow, 
as of a single life, or of keeping fast; the 
other, the compact. 



CANTO V 


PARADISE 


3 0 3 


It ne'er is cancel'd, if not kept: and hence 
I spake, erewhile, so strictly of its force. 
For this it was enjoin'd the Israelites/ [change 
Though leave were given them, as thou kno\v'st, to 
The offering, still to offer. The other part, 
The matter and the substance of the vow, 
May well be such, as that, without offence, 
It may for other substance be exchanged. 
But, at his own discretion, none may shift 
The burden on his shoulders; unreleased 
By either key,S the yellow and the white. 
Nor deem of any change, as less than vain, 
If the last bond 6 be not within the new 
Included, as the quatre in the six. 
No satisfaction therefore can be paid 
For what so precious in the balance weighs, 
That all in counterpoise must kick the beam. 
Take then no vow at random: ta' en, with faith 
Preserve it; yet not bent, as Jephthah once, 
Blindl y to execute a rash resolve, 
Whom better it had suited to exclaim, 
'I have done ill,' than to redeem his pledge 
By doing worse : or, not unlike to him 
In folly, that great leader of the Greeks; 
Whence, on the altar, Iphigenia mourn'd 
Her virgin beauty, and hath since made mourn 
Both wise and simple, even all, who hear 
Of so fell sacrifice. Be ye more staid, 
o Christians! not, like feather, by each wind 
Removable; nor think to cleanse yourselves 
In every water. Either testament, 
The old and new, is yours: and for your guide, 
The shepherd of the Church. Let this suffice 
To save you. When by evil lust enticed, 
Remember ye be men, not senseless beasts; 
Nor let the Jew, who dwelleth in your streets, 
Hold you in mockery. Be not, as the lamb, 
That, fickle wanton, leaves its mother's milk, 


. Se
 Lev. c. xii. and xxvii. 
6 Purgatory, Canto ix. 108. 


6 If the thing substituted be not more 
precious than the thing released. 



3 0 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
To dally with itself in idle play." 
Such were the words that Beatrice spake: 
These ended, to that region, where the world 
Is liveliest, full of fond desire she turn'd. 
Though mainly prompt new question to propose, 
Her silence and changed look did keep me dumb. 
And as the arrow, ere the cord is still, 
Leapeth unto its mark; so on we sped 
Into the second realm. There I beheld 
The dame, so joyous, enter, that the orb 
Grew brighter at her smiles; and, if the star 
Were moved to gladness, what then was my cheer, 
Whom nature hath made apt for every change! 
As in a quiet and clear lake the fish, 
If aught approach them from without, do draw 
Toward it, deeming it their food; so drew 
Full more than thousand splendours toward us; 
And in each one was heard: "Lo! one arrived 
To multiply our loves I" and as each came, 
The shadow, streaming forth effulgence new, 
Witness'd augmented joy. Here, Reader! think, 
If thou didst miss the sequel of my tale, 
To know the rest how sorely thou wouldst crave; 
And thou shalt see what vehement desire 
Possess'd me, soon as these had met my view, 
To know their state. "0 born in happy hour! 
Thou, to whom grace vouchsafes, or e'er thy close 
Of fleshly warfare, to behold the thrones 
Of that eternal triumph; know, to us 
The light communicated, which through Heaven 
Expatiates without bound. Therefore, if aught 
Thou of our beams wouldst borrow for thine aid, 
Spare not; and, of our radiance, take thy fill." 
Thus of those piteous spirits one bespake me; 
And Beatrice next: "Say on; and trust 
As unto gods."-"How in the light supreme 
Thou harbour'st, and from thence the virtue bring'st, 
That, sparkling in thine eyes, denotes thy joy, 
I mark; but, who thou art, am still to seek; 
Or wherefore, worthy spirit! for thy lot 


CANTO V 



CANTO VI 


3 0 5 


PARADISE 
This sphere 7 assign'd, that oft from mortal ken 
Is veil'd by other's beams." I said; and turn'd 
Toward the lustre, that with greeting kind 
Erewhile had hail'd me. Forthwith, brighter far 
Than erst, it wax'd: and, as himself the sun 
Hides through excess of light, when his warm gazeS 
Hath on the mantle of thick vapours prey'd; 
Within its proper ray the saintly shape 
Was, through increase of gladness, thus conceal'd; 
And, shrouded so in splendour, answer'd me, 
E'en as the tenour of my song declares. 


CANTO VI 


ARGUMENT.-The spirit, who had offered to satisfy the inquiries of Dante, declares 
himself to be the Emperor Justinian; and after speaking of his own actions, recounts 
the victories, before him, obtained under the Roman Eagle. He then informs out 
Poet that the soul of Romeo the pilgrim is in the same star. 


X , FTER that Constantine the eagle turn'd 1 
Against the motions of the Heaven, that roll'd 
Consenting with its course, when he of yore, 
Lavinia's spouse, was leader of the flight; 
A hundred years twice told and more,2 his seat 
At Europe's extreme point,3 the bird of Jove 
Held, near the mountains, whence he issued first; 
There under shadow of his sacred plumes 
Swaying the world, till through successive hands 
To mine he came devolved. Cæsar I was 
And am Justinian; destined by the will 
Of that prime love, whose influence I feel, 


1 "This sphere." The planet Mercury, 
which being nearest to the sun, is oftenest 
hidden by that luminary. 
8 "When his warm gaze." When the 
sun has dried up the vapors that shaded 
his brightness. 
1 Constantine, in transferring the seat 
of empire from Rome to Byzantium, car- 
ried the eagle, the imperial ensign, from 
the west to the east. Æneas, on the con- 
trary, had, with better augury, moved 


along with the sun's course, when he 
passed from Troy to Italy. 
2 "A hundred years twice told and 
more." The Emperor Constantine en- 
tered Byzantium in 324; and Justinian 
began his reign in 5 2 7. 
3 "At Europe's extreme point." Con- 
stantine being situated at the extreme 
of Europe, and on the borders of Asia, 
near those mountains in the neighborhood 
of Troy, from whence the first founders 
of Rome had emigrated. 



3 06 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VI 


From vain excess to clear the incumber'd laws. 4 
Or e'er that work engaged me, I did hold 
In Christ one nature only;5 with such faith 
Contented. But the blessed Agapete,6 
Who was chief shepherd, he with warning voice 
To the true faith recall'd me. I believed 
His words: and what he taught, now plainly see, 
As thou in every contradiction seest 
The true and false opposed. Soon as my feet 
Were to the Church reclaim'd, to my great task, 
By inspiration of God's grace impell'd, 
I gave me wholly; and consign'd mine arms 
To Belisarius, with whom Heaven's right hand 
Was link'd in such conjointment, 'twas a sign 
That I should rest. To thy first question thus 
I shape mine answer, which were ended here, 
But that its tendency doth prompt perforce 
To some addition; that thou well mayst mark, 
What reason on each side they have to plead, 
By whom that holiest banner is withstood, 
Both who pretend its power 7 and who oppose. 8 
"Beginning from that hour, when Pallas died 
To give it rule, behold the valorous deeds 
Have made it worthy reverence. Not unknown 
To thee, how for three hundred years and more 
It dwelt in Alba, up to those fell lists 
Where, for its sake, were met the rival three;9 
Nor aught unknown to thee, which it achieved 
Down 10 from the Sabines' wrong to Lucrece' woe, 
With its seven kings conquering the nations round; 
Nor all it wrought, by Roman worthies borne 
'Gainst Brennus and the Epirot prince,l1 and hosts 
Of single chiefs, or states in league combined 


4 The code of laws was abridged and 
reformed by Justinian. 
5 Justinian is said to have been a fol- 
lower of heretical opinions held by Eu- 
tyches, "who taught that in Christ there 
was but one nature, viz., that of the in- 
carnate Word." Maclaine's Mosheim. 
6 "Agapeteo" "Agapetus, Bishop of 
Rome. whose Scheda Regia, addressed to 


the Emperor Justinian, procured him a 
place among the wisest and most judicious 
writers of this country." Ibid. 
7 The Ghibellines. 8 The Guelfs. 
9 The Horatii and Curiatii. 
10 "From the rape of the Sabine women 
to the violation of Lucretia." 
11 King Pyrrhus. 



CANTO VI 


PARADISE 


3 0 7 


Of social warfare: hence, T orquatus stern, 
And Quintius 12 named of his neglected locks, 
The Decii, and the Fabii hence acquired 
Their fame, which I with duteous zeal embalm. 
By it the pride of Arab hordes 13 was quell'd, 
When they, led on by Hannibal, o'erpass'd 
The Alpine rocks, whence glide thy currents, Po! 
Beneath its guidance, in their prime of days 
Scipio and Pompey triumph'd; and that hilP4 
Under whose summit 15 thou didst see the light, 
Rued its stern bearing. After, near the hour,16 
When Heaven was minded that o'er all the world 
His own deep calm should brood, to Cæsar's hand 
Did Rome consign it; and what then it wrought 17 
From Var unto the Rhine, saw Isere's flood, 
Saw Loire and Seine, and every vale, that fills 
The torrent Rhone. What after that it wrought, 
When from Ravenna it came forth, and leap'd 
The Rubicon, was of so bold a flight, 
That tongue nor pen may follow it. Toward Spain 
It wheei'd its bands, then toward Dyrrachium smote, 
And on Pharsalia, with so fierce a plunge, 
E' en the warm Nile was conscious to the pang; 
Its native shores Antandros, and the streams 
Of Simois revisited, and there 
Where Hector lies; then ill for Ptolemy 
His pennons shook again; lightening thence fell 
On Juba, and the next, upon your west, 
At sound of the Pompeian trump, return'd. 
"What following, and in its next bearer's gripe,18 
It wrought, is now by Cassius and Brutus 
Bark'd of in Hell; and by Perugia's sons, 
And Modena's, was mourn'd. Hence weepeth still 


12 Quintius Cincinnatus. 
13 The Arabians seem to be put for the 
barbarians in general. 
14 ,"That hill." The city of Fiesole, 
which was sacked by the Romans after the 
defeat of Catiline. 
15 "Under whose summit." "At the 
foot of which is situated Florence, thy 
birth-place." 


16 "Near the hour." Of our Saviour's 
birth. 
17 "What then it wrought." In the fol- 
lowing fifteen lines the Poet has com- 
prised the exploits of Julius Cæsar, for 
which, and for the allusions in the greater 
part of this speech of Justinian's, I must 
refer my reader to the history of Rome. 
18 'Vith Augustus Cæsar. 



3 08 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VI 


Sad Cleopatra, who, pursued by it, 
Took from the adder black and sudden death. 
With him it ran e'en to the Red Sea coast; 
With him composed the world to such a peace, 
That of his temple Janus barr'd the door. 
"But all the mighty standard yet had wrought, 
And was appointed to perform thereafter, 
Throughout the mortal kingdom which it sway'd, 
Palls in appearance dwindled and obscured, 
If one with steady eye and perfect thought 
On the third Cæsar 19 look; for to his hands, 
The living Justice, in whose breath I move, 
Committed glory, e'en into his hands, 
To execute the vengeance of its wrath. 
"Hear now, and wonder at, what next I tell. 
After with Titus it was sent to wreak 
Vengeance for vengeance of the ancient sin. 
And, when the Lombard tooth, with fang impure, 
Did gore the bosom of the holy Church, 
Under its \vings, victorious Charlemain 20 
Sped to her rescue. Judge then for thyself 
Of those, whom I erewhile accused to thee, 
What they are, and how grievous their offending, 
Who are the cause of all your ills. The one 21 
Against the universal ensign rears 
The yellow lilies;22 and with partial aim, 
That, to himself, the other 23 arrogates: 
So that 'tis hard to see who most offends. 
Be yours, ye Ghibellines, to veil your hearts 
Beneath another standard: ill is this 
Follow'd of him, who severs it and justice: 
And let not with his Guelfs the new-crown'd Charles 


19. "The third Cæsar." The eagle in 
the hand of Tiberius, the third of the 
Cæsars, outdid all its achievements, both 
past and future, by becoming the instru- 
ment of that mighty and mysterious act 
of satisfaction made to the divine justice 
in the crucifixion of our Lord. 
20 "Charlemain." Dante could not be 
ignorant that the reign of Justinian was 


long prior to that of Charlemagne; but 
the spirit of the former emperor is repre- 
sented, both in this instance and in what 
follows, as conscious of the events that 
had taken place after his own time. 
21 "The one." The Guelf party. 
22 The French ensign. 
23 The Ghibelline party. 



CANTO VI 


PARADISE 


3 0 9 


Assail it;24 but those talons hold in dread, 
\Vhich from a lion of more lofty port 
Have rent the casing. 11any a time ere now 
The sons have for the sire's transgression wail'd: 
N or let him trust the fond belief, that Heaven 
Will truck its armour for his lilied shield. 
"This little star is furnish'd with good spirits, 
Whose mortal lives were busied to that end, 
That honour and renown might wait on them: 
And, when desires 25 thus err in their intention, 
True love must needs ascend with slacker beam. 
But it is part of our delight, to measure 
Our wages with the merit; and admire 
The close proportion. Hence doth heavenly justice 
Temper so evenly affection in us, 
I t ne'er can warp to any \vrongfulness. 
Of diverse voices is sweet music made: 
So in our life the different degrees 
Render sweet harmony among these wheels. 
"Within the pearl, that now encloseth us, 
Shines Romeo's light,26 whose goodly deed and fair 
Met ill acceptance. But the Provençals, 
That were his foes, have little cause for mirth. 
III shapes that man his course, who makes his \vrong 
Of other's worth. Four daughters 27 were there born 
To Raymond Berenger; and everyone 
Became a queen: and this for him did Romeo, 
Though of mean state and from a foreign land. 


24 "Charles." The commentators ex- 
plain this to mean Charles II, King of 
Naples and Sicily. Is it not more likely 
to allude to Charles of Valois, son of 
Philip III of France, who was sent for, 
about this time, into Italy by Pope Boni- 
lace, with the promise of being made Em- 
peror? See G. Villani, lib. viii. cap. xlii. 
25 When honour and fame are the chief 
motives to action, the love for Heaven 
must become less fervent. 
26 After he had long been faithful 
steward to Raymond Berenger, Count of 
Provence, and last of the house of Barce- 
lona, who died 1245, when an account 


was required from him of the revenues 
which his master had lavishly disbursed, 
he demanded the little mule, the staff, 
and the scrip, with which he had first 
entered into the Count's service, a 
stranger pilgrim from the shrine of St. 
] ames, in Galicia, and parted 
s he came. 
27 Of the four daughters of Raymond, 
Margaret, the eldest, was married to 
Louis IX of France; Eleanor to Henry III 
of England; Sancha to Richard, Henry' s 
brother, and King of the Romans; and 
the youngest, Beatrix, to Charles I, King 
of Naples and Sicily, and brother to 
Louis. 



3 10 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VII 


Yet envious tongues incited him to ask 
A reckoning of that just one, who return'd 
Twelve fold to him for ten. Aged and poor 
He parted thence: and if the \vorld did know 
The heart he had, begging his life by morsels, 
'Twould deem the praise, it yields him, scantly dealt." 


CANTO VII 


ARGUMENT.-In consequence of what had been said by Justinian, who together 
with the other spirits has now disappeared, some doubts arise in the mind of Dante 
respecting the human redemption. These difficulties are fully explained by Beatrice. 
" 
H OSANNA l Sanctus Deus Sabaoth, 
Supe,.illust,.ans cla,.itate tuâ 
Felices ignes horum malahoth." 
Thus chanting saw I turn that substance bright,2 
With fourfold lustre to its orb again, 
Revolving; and the rest, unto their dance, 
With it, moved also; and, like swiftest sparks, 
In sudden distance from my sight were veil'd. 
Me doubt possess'd; and "Speak," it whisper'd me, 
"Speak, speak unto thy lady; that she quench 
Thy thirst with drops of sweetness." Yet blank awe, 
Which lords it o'er me, even at the sound 
Of Beatrice's name, did bow me down 
As one in slumber held. Not long that mood 
Beatrice suffer'd: she, with such a smile, 
As might have made one blest amid the flames,3 
Beaming upon me, thus her words began: 
"Thou in thy thought art pondering (as I deem, 
And what I deem is truth) how just revenge 
Could be with justice punish'd: from which doubt 
I soon will free thee; so thou mark my words; 
For they of weighty matter shall possess thee. 
Through suffering not a curb upon the power 
That \vill'd in him, to his own profiting, 
That man, who was unborn,4 condemn'd himself; 
1 "Hosanna." "Hosanna holy God of 2 Justinian. 
Sabaoth, abundantly illumining with thy 3 So Giusto de' Conti. 
brightness the blessed fires of these king. 4 Adam. 
dorns." 



CANTO VII 


PARADISE 


3 11 


And, in himself, all, who since him have lived, 
His offspring: whence, below, the human kind 
Lay sick in grievous error many an age; 
U ntii it pleased the Word of God to come 
Amongst them down, to His own person joining 
The nature from its Maker far estranged, 
By the mere act of His eternal love. 
. Contemplate here the wonder I unfold: 
The nature with its Maker thus conjoin'd, 
Created first was blameless, pure and good; 
But, through itself alone, was driven forth 
From Paradise, because it had eschew'd 
The \vay of truth and life, to evil turn'd. 
Ne'er then was penalty so just as that 
Inflicted by the Cross, if thou regard 
The nature in assumption doom'd; ne'er wrong 
So great, in reference to Him, \v ho took 
Such nature on Him, and endured the doom. 
So different effects 5 flow'd from one act: 
F or by one death God and the Jews were pleased; 
And Heaven was open'd, though the earth did quake. 
Count it not hard henceforth, when thou dost hear 
That a just vengeance 6 was, by righteous court, 
Justly revenged. But yet I see thy mind, 
By thought on thought arising, sore perplex'd; 
A.nd, with how vehement desire, it asks 
Solution of the maze. What I have heard, 
Is plain, thou sayst: but wherefore God this way 
For our redemption chose, eludes my search. 
"Brother! no eye of man not perfected, 
Nor fully ripen' d in the flame of love, 
May fathom this decree. It is a mark, 
In sooth, much aim'd at, and but little kenn'd: 
And I will therefore show thee why such way 


j The death of Christ was pleasing to 
God, inasmuch as it satisfied the divine 
justice; and to the Jews, because it grati. 
fied their malignity; and while Heaven 
opened for joy at man's ransom, the earth 
trembled through compassion for its 
Maker. 


6 The punishment of Christ by the 
Jews, although just as far as regarded the 
human nature assumed by Him, and so 
a righteous vengeance of sin, yet being 
unjust as regards the divine nature, was 
itself justly revenged on the Jews by the 
destruction of Jerusalem. 



3 12 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VII 


Was worthiest. The celestial Love, that spurns 
AIl envying in its bounty, in itself 
With such effulgence blazeth, as sends forth 
All beauteous things eternal. What distils 
Immediate thence, no end of being knows; 
Bearing its seal immutably imprest. 
Whatever thence immediate falls, is free, 
Free wholly, uncontrollable by power 
Of each thing new: by such conformÍ"ty 
More grateful to its Author, whose bright beams, 
Though all partake their shining, yet in those 
Are liveliest, which resemble Him the most. 
These tokens of pre-eminence 7 on man 
Largely bestow'd, if any of them fail, 
He needs must forfeit his nobility, 
No longer stainless. Sin alone is that, 
vVhich doth disfranchise him, and make unlike 
To the Chief Good; for that its light in him 
Is darken'd. And to dignity thus lost 
Is no return; unless, where guilt makes void, 
He for ill pleasure pay with equal pain. 
Your nature, which entirely in its seed 
Transgress'd, from these distinctions fell, no less 
Than from its state in Paradise; nor means 
Found of recovery (search all methods out 
As strictly as thou may) save one of these, 
The only fords \vere left through which to wade: 
Either, that God had of His courtesy 
Released him merely; or else, man himself 
For his own folly by himself atoned. 
"Fix now thine eye, intently as thou canst, 
On the everlasting counsel; and explore, 
Instructed by my words, the dread abyss. 
"Man in himself had ever lack'd the means 
Of satisfaction, for he could not stoop 
Obeying, in humility so low, 
As high, he, disobeying, thought to soar: 


7 The before-mentioned gifts of im- 
mediate creation by God, independence 
on secondarr causes, and consequent 


similitude and agreeableness to the Divine 
Being, all at first conferred on man. 



CANTO VII 


PARADISE 


3 1 3 


And, for this reason, he had vainly tried, 
Out of his own sufficiency to pay 
The rigid satisfaction. Then behoved 
That God should by His o\vn ways lead him back 
Unto the life, from whence he fell, restored; 
By both His ways, I mean, or one alone. 8 
But since the deed is ever prized the more, 
The more the doer's good intent appears; 
Goodness celestial, whose broad signature 
Is on the universe, of all its ways 
To raise ye up, was fain to leave out none. 
Nor aught so vast or so magnificent, 
Either for Him who gave or who received, 
Between the last night and the primal day, 
Was or can be. F or God more bounty sho\v'd, 
Giving Himself to make man capable 
Of his return to life, than had the terms 
Been mere and unconditional release. 
And for His justice, every method else 
Were all too scant, had not the Son of God 
Humbled Him
elf to put on mortal flesh. 
"Now, to content thee fully, I revert; 
And further in some part 9 unfold my speech, 
That thou mayst see it clearly as myself. 
"I see, thou sayst, the air, the fire I see, 
The earth and water, and all things of them 
Compounded, to corruption turn, and soon 
Dissol ve. Yet these were also things create. 
Because, if what were told me, had been true, 
They from corruption had been therefore free. 
"The Angels, a my brother! and this clime 
Wherein thou art, impassable and pure, 
I call created, even as they are 


8 Either by mercy and justice united 
or by mercy alone. 
9 She reverts to that part of her dis
 
course where she had said that what pro
 
ceeds immediately from God "no end of 
being knows." She then proceeds to tell 
him that the elements, which, though he 
knew them to be creaced, he yet saw dis- 
solved, received their form not immedi- 


ately from God, but from a virtue or 
power created by God; that the soul of 
brutes and plants is in like manner drawn 
forth by the stars with a combination of 
those elements meetly tempered, "di com- 
plession potenziata"; but that the angels 
and the heavens may be said to be created 
in that very manner in which they exist, 
without any intervention of agency. 



3 1 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO Vln 


In their whole being. But the elements, 
Which thou hast named, and what of them is made, 
Are by created virtue informtd: create, 
Their substance; and create, the informing virtue 
In these bright stars, that round them circling move. 
The soul of every brute and of each plant, 
The ray and motion of the sacred lights, 
Draw from complexion with meet power endued. 
But this our life the Eternal Good inspires 
Immediate, and enamours of itself; 
So that our wishes rest for ever here. 
"And hence thou mayst by inference conclude 
Our resurrection certain, if thy mind 
Consider how the human flesh was framed, 
When both our parents at the first were made." 


CANTO VIII 


ARGUMENT.-The Poet ascends with Beatrice to the third heaven, the planet Venus; 
and here finds the soul of Charles Marrel t King of HungarYt who had been Dante's 
friend on earth, and who now, after speaking of the realms to which he was heir, 
unfolds the cause why children differ in disposition from their parents. 
T HE world1 was, in its day of peril dark, 
Wont to believe the dotage of fond love, 
From the fair Cyprian deity, who rolls 
In her third epicycle, shed on men 
By stream of potent radiance: therefore they 
Of elder time, in their old error blind, 
Not her alone with sacrifice adored 
And invocation, but like honours paid 
To Cupid and Dione, deem'd of them 
Her mother, and her son, him whom they feign'd 
To sit in Dido's bosom: and from her, 
Whom I have sung preluding, borrowtd they 
The appellation of that star, which views 


1 The Poet, on his arrival at the third 
Heaven, tells us that the world, in its 
days of heathen darkness, believed the 
influence of sensual love to proceed from 
the start to which, under the name of 


Venus, they paid divine honors; as they 
worshipped the supposed mother and son 
of Venus, under the names of Dione and 
Cupid. 



CANTO VIII 


PARADISE 


3 1 5 


Now obvious, and now averse, the sun. 
I was not ware that I was wafted up 
Into its orb; but the new loveliness, 
That graced my lady, gave me ample proof 
That we had enter'd there. And as in flame 
A sparkle is distinct, or voice in voice 
Discern'd, when one its even tenour keeps, 
The other comes and goes; so in that light 
I other luminaries saw, that coursed 
In circling motion, rapid more or less, 
As their eternal vision each impels. 
Never was blast from vapour charged with cold, 
Whether invisible to eye or no, 
Descended with such speed, it had not seem'd 
To linger in dull tardiness, compared 
To those celestial lights, that toward us came, 
Leaving the circuit of their joyous ring, 
Conducted by the lofty Seraphim. 
And after them, who in the van appear'd, 
Such an Hosanna sounded as hath left 
Desire, ne'er since extinct in me, to hear 
Renew'd the strain. Then, parting from the rest, 
One near us drew, and sole began: "We all 
Are ready at thy pleasure, well disposed 
To do thee gentle service. Weare they 
To whom thou in the world erewhile didst sing; 
'0 ye! whose intellectual ministry 
Moves the third Heaven:' and in one orb we roll, 
One motion, one impulse, with those who rule 
Princedoms in Heaven; yet are of love so full, 
That to please thee 'twill be as sweet to rest." 
After mine eyes had with meek reverence 
Sought the celestial guide, and were by her 
Assured, they turn'd again unto the light, 
Who had so largely promised; and with voice 
That bare the lively pressure of my zeal, 
"Tell who ye are," I cried. Forthwith it grew 
In size and splendour, through augmented joy; 
And thus it ans\ver'd: "A short date, belo\v, 



3 16 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VIII 


The world possess'd me. 2 Had the time been more, 

fuch evil, that will come, had never chanced. 
My gladness hides thee from me, which doth shine 
Around, and shroud me, as an animal 
In its own silk enswathed. Thou lovedst me well,3 
And hadst good cause; for had my sojourning 
Been longer on the earth, the love I bare thee 
Had put forth more than blossoms. The left bank,. 
That Rhone, when he hath mix'd with Sorga, laves, 
In me its lord expected, and that horn 
Of fair Ausonia,5 with its boroughs old, 
Bari, and Croton, and Gaeta piled, 
From where the Trento disembogues his waves 
With Verde mingled, to the salt-sea flood. 
Already on my temples beam'd the crown, 
Which gave me sovereignty over the land 6 
By Danube wash'd, whenas he strays beyond 
The limits of his German shores. The realm, 
Where, on the gulf by stormy Eurus lash'd, 
Betwixt Pelorus and Pachynian heights, 
The beautiful Trinacria 7 lies in gloom, 
(Not through Typhæus,8 but the vapoury cloud 
Bituminous upsteam'd), that too did look 
To have its sceptre \vielded by a race [Rodolph,9 
Of monarchs, sprung through me from Charles and 
Had not ill-lording,IO which doth desperate make 
2 The SpUlt now speaking is Charles 4 "The left bank." Provence. 
Martel, crowned King of Hungary, and 5 The kingdom of Naples. 
son of Charles II, King of Naples and 6 "The land." Hungary. 
Sicily, to which throne, dying in his 7 Sicily; so called from its three prom- 
father's lifetime, he did not succeed. The ontories of which Pachynus and Pelo- 
evil, that would have been prevented by rus, here mentioned, are two. 
the longer life of Charles Martel, was 8 The giant, whom Jupiter over- 
that resistance which his brother Robert, whelmed under Mount Ætna, whence he 
King of Sicily, who succeeded him, made vomited forth smoke and flame. 
to the Emperor Henry VII. 9 "Sicily would be still ruled by mon- 
3 Charles Martel might have been archs, descended through me from 
known to our Poet at Florence, whither Charles I and Rodolph I, the former my 
he came to meet his father in 1259, the grandfather, King of Naples and Sicily; 
year of his death. G. Villani says that the latter, Emperor of Germany, my 
"he remained more than twenty days in father-in-law;" both celebrated in the 
Florence, waiting for his father, King "Purgatory," Canto vii. 
Charles, and his brothers." Lib. vii. cap. 10 If the ill-conduct of our governors 
xiii. His brother Robert, King of Naples, in Sicily had not excited the people to that 
was the friend of Petrarch. dreadful massacre at the Sicilian vespers 



CANTO VIII 


PARADISE 


3 1 7 


The people ever, in Palermo raised 
The shout of 'death/ re-echoed loud and long. 
Had but my brother's foresight ll kenn'd as much, 
He had been warier, that the greedy want 
Of Catalonia might not work his bale. 
And truly need there is that he forecast, 
Or other for him, lest more freight be laid 
On his already over-laden bark. 
Nature in him, from bounty fallen to thrift, 
Would ask the guard of braver arms, than such 
As only care to have their coffers fill'd." 
"My liege! it doth enhance the joy thy words 
Infuse into me, mighty as it is, 
To think my gladness manifest to thee, 
As to myself, who own it, when thou look'st 
Into the source and limit of all good, 
There, where thou markest that which thou dost speak, 
Thence prized of me the more. Glad thou hast made 
Now make intelligent, clearing the doubt [me: 
Thy speech hath raised in me; for much I muse, 
How bitter can spring up,12 when sweet is sown." 
I thus inquiring; he forthwith replied: 
"If I have power to sho\v one truth, soon that 
Shall face thee, which thy questioning declares 
Behind thee now conceal'd. The Good,13 that guides 


in consequence of which the kingdom fell 
into the hands of Peter III of Arragon, 
in 1282. 
11 He seems to tax his brother Robert 
with employing necessitous and greedy 
Catalonians to administer the affairs of his 
kingdom. 
12 "How a covetous son can spring 
from a liberal father." Yet that father 
has himself been accused of avarice in the 
"Purgatory," Canto xx. 78; though his 
general character was that of a boun- 
teous prince. 
13 The Supreme Being uses these 
spheres as the intelligent instruments of 
His providence in the conduct of ter- 
restrial natures; so that these natures can- 
not but be conducted aright, unlpss these 
heavenly bodies should themselves fail 
from not having been made perfect at 


first, or the Creator of them should fail. 
To this Dante replies, that Nature, he 
is satisfied, thus directed must do her 
part. Charles Martel then reminds him 
that he had learned from Aristotle that 
human society requires a variety of con- 
ditions, and consequently a variety of 
qualifications in its members. Accord- 
ingly, men are born with different powers 
and capacities, caused by the influence of 
the heavenly bodies at the time of their 
nativity; on which influence, and not on 
their parents, those powers and capacities 
depend. Charles Martel adds, by way of 
corollary, that the want of observing their 
natural bent. in the destination of men to 
their several offices in life, is the occasion 
of much of the disorder that prevails in 
the world. 



3 18 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO VIII 


And blessed makes this realm which thou dost mount, 
Ordains its providence to be the virtue 
In these great bodies: nor the natures only 
The all-perfect Mind provides for, but with them 
That which preserves them too; for naught, that lies 
Within the range of that unerring bow, 
But is as level with the destined aim, 
As ever mark to arrowts point opposed. 
Were it not thus, these Heavens, thou dost visit, 
Would their effect so work, it would not be 
Art, but destruction; and this may not chance, 
If the intellectual powers, that move these stars, 
Pail not, and who, first faulty made them, fail. 
Wilt thou this truth more clearly evidenced? U 
To whom I thus: "It is enough: no fear, 
I see, lest nature in her part should tire. u 
He straight rejointd: "Say, were it worse for man, 
If he lived not in fellowship on earth?U 
"Yea,u answee d I; "nor here a reason needs. u 
"And may that be, if different estates 
Grow not of different duties in your life? 
Consult your teacher /4 and he tells you 'no. t u 
Thus did he come, deducing to this point, 
And then concluded: "For this cause behoves, 
The roots, from \vhence your operations come, 
Must differ. Therefore one is Solon born; 
Another, Xerxes; and Melchisedec 
A third; and he a fourth, whose airy voyage 
Cost him his son. 1S In her circuitous course, 
Nature, that is the seal to mortal wax, 
Doth well her art, but no distinction owns 
tTwixt one or other household. Hence befals 
That Esau is so wide of Jacob: hence 
Quirinus 16 of so base a father springs, 
14 Aristotle t De Rep., lib. iii. cap. 4: of all these, and besides these of other 
Since a state is made up of members dissimilar kinds); it necessarily follows 
differing from one another (for even as that the excellence of all the members of 
an animal, in the first instance, consists the state cannot be one and the same. 
of soul and body; and the soul, of reason 15 Dædalus. 
and desire; and a family, of man and 16 "Quirinus." Romulus, born of so 
woman; and property, of master and obscure a father that his parentage was 
slave; in like manner a state consists both attributed to Mars. 



CANTO IX 


PARADISE 


3 1 9 


He dates from Mars his lineage. Were it not 
That Providence celestial overruled, 
Nature, in generation, must the path 
Traced by the generator still pursue 
Unswervingly. Thus place I in thy sight 
That, which was late behind thee. But, in sign 
Of more affection for thee, 'tis my will 
Thou wear this corollary . Nature ever, 
Finding discordant fortune, like all seed 
Out of its proper climate, thrives but ill. 
And were the world below content to mark 
And work on the foundation nature lays, 
I would not lack supply of excellence. 
But ye perversely to religion strain 
Him, who was born to gird on him the sword, 
And of the fluent phraseman make your king: 
Therefore your steps have wander'd from the path." 


CANTO IX 


ARGUMENT.-The next spirit who converses with our Poet in the planet Venus 
is the amorous Cunizza. To her succeeds Folco, or Folques, the Provençal bard, who 
declares that the soul of Rahab the harlot is there also; and then, blaming the Pope 
for his neglect of the Holy Land, prognosticates some reverse to the papal power. 


X TER solution of my doubt, thy Charles, 
o fair Clemenza, l of the treachery2 spake, 
That must befal his seed; but, "Tell it not," 
Said he, "and let the destined years come round." 
Nor may I tell thee more, save that the meed 
Of sorrow well-deserved shall quit your wrongs. 
And now the visage of that saintly light 3 
Was to the sun, that fills it, turn'd again, 
As to the good, whose plenitude of bliss 
Sufhceth all. 0 ye misguided souls! 
Infatuate, who from such a good estrange 
Your hearts, and bend your gaze on vanity, 
Alas for you I-And lo! toward me, next, 
1 Daughter of Charles Martel, and Robert, in exclusion of his brother's son 
second wife of Louis X of France. Carobert, or Charles Robert, the rightful 
2 "The treachery." He alludes to the heir. 
occupation of the Kingdom of Sicily by 3 Charles MarteL 



3 20 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IX 


Another of those splendent forms approach'd, 
That, by its outward brightening, testified 
The will it had to pleasure me. The eyes 
Of Beatrice, resting, as before, 
Firmly upon me, manifested forth 
Approval of my wish. "And 0," I cried, 
"Blest spirit! quickly be my will perform'd; 
And prove thou to me,4 that my inmost thoughts 
I can reflect on thee." Thereat the light, 
That yet was new to me, from the recess, 
Where it before was singing, thus began, 
As one who joys in kindness: "In that part 5 
Of the depraved Italian land, which lies 
Between Rialto and the fountain springs 
Of Brenta and of Piava, there doth rise, 
But to no lofty eminence, a hill, 
From whence erewhile a firebrand did descend, 
That sorely shent the region. From one root 
I and it sprang; my name on earth Cunizza: 6 
And here I glitter, for that by its light 
This star 0' ercame me. Yet I naught repine,7 
Nor grudge myself the cause of this my lot: 
'Vhich haply vulgar hearts can scarce conceive. 
"This 8 jewel, that is next me in our Heaven, 
Lustrous and costly, great renown hath left, 
And not to perish, ere these hundred years 
4 The thoughts of all created minds of Padua. She eloped from her first hus- 
being seen by the Deity, and all that is in band, Richard of St. Boniface, in the 
the Deity being the object of vision to company of Sordello, with whom she is 
beatified spirits, such spirits must con- supposed to have cohabited before her 
sequently see the thoughts of all created marriage: then lived with a soldier of 
minds. Dante, therefore, requests of the Trevigi, whose wife was living at the 
spirit, who now approaches him, a proof same time in the same city; and, on his 
of this truth with regard to his own being murdered by her brother the tyrant, 
thoughts. See v. 70. was by her brother married to a noble- 
s Between Riaho in the Venetian terri- man of Braganzo: lastly, when he also 
tory, and the sources of the rivers Brenta had fallen by the same hand, she after 
and Piava, is situated a castle called her brother's death, was again wedded 
Romano, the birthplace of the famous in Verona. 
tyrant Ezzolino or Azzolino, the brother 7 "I am not dissatisfied that I am not 
of Cunizza, who is now speaking. See allotted a higher place." 
Hell, Canto xii. v. 110. 8 "This." Folco of Genoa, a celebrated 
6 "Cunizza." The adventures of Cuniz- Provençal poet, commonly termed Folques 
za, overcome by the influence of her star, of Marseilles, of which place he was per- 
are related by the chronicler Rolandino, haps bishop. 



CANTO IX 


PARADISE 


3 21 


Five times 9 absolve their round. Consider thou, 
If to excel be worthy man's endeavour, 
When such life may attend the first. lO Yet they 
Care not for this, the crowd ll that no\v are girt 
By Adice and Tagliamento, still 
Impenitent, though scourged. The hour is near 12 
When for their stubbornness, at Padua's marsh 
The water shall be changed, that laves Vicenza. 
And where Cagnano meets with Sile, one 13 
Lords it, and bears his head aloft, for whom 
The web 14 is now a-warping. Feltro 15 too 
Shall sorrow for its godless shepherd's fault, 
Of so deep stain, that never, for the like, 
Was Malta'sl6 bar unclosed. Too large should be 
The skillee 7 that would hold Ferrara's blood, 
And wearied he, who ounce by ounce \vould weigh it, 
The which this priest,18 in show of party-zeal, 
Courteous will give; nor will the gift ill suit 
The country's custom. We descry above 
Mirrors, ye call them Thrones, from which to us 
Reflected shine the judgments of our God: 
Whence these our sayings we avouch for good." 
She ended; and appear'd on other thoughts 


9 The 500 years are elapsed. 
10 When the mertal life of man may 
be attended by so lasting and glorious a 
memory, which is a kind of second life. 
11 The people who inhabited the coun- 
try bounded by the Tagliamento to the 
east and Adice to the west. 
12 Cunizza foretells the defeat of Gia- 
copo da Carrara and the Paduans, by Can 
Grande, at Vicenza, on September 18, 
13 I 4. 
13 "One." She predicts also the fate of 
Riccardo da Camino, who is said to have 
been murdered at Trevigi (where the 
rivers Sile and Cagnano meet) where he 
was engaged in playing at chess. 
14 "The web." The net, or snare, into 
which he is destined to fall. 
15 The Bishop of Feltro having received 
a number of fugitives from Ferrara, who 
were in opposition to the Pope, under a 
promise of protection, afterward gave 


them up; so that they were reconducted 
to that city, and the greater part of 
them there put to death. 
16 "Malta's." A tower, either in the 
citadel of Padua, which, under the 
tyranny of Ezzolino, had been "with 
many a foul and midnight murder fed"; 
or (as some say) near a river of the same 
name, that falls into the Lake of Bolsena, 
in which the Pope was accustomed to im- 
prison such as had been guilty of an 
irremissible sin. 
17 "The skillet." The blood shed could 
not be contained in such a vessel, if it 
were of the usual size. 
18 The bishop, who, to show himself a 
zealous partisan of the Pope, had com- 
mitted the above-mentioned act of treach- 
ery. The commentators are not agreed 
as to his name. Troya calls him Ales- 
sandro Novello, and relates the circum- 
stances at full. 



3 22 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO IX 


Intent, re-entering on the wheel she late 
Had left. That other joyance meanwhile wax'd 
A thing to marvel at, in splendour glowing, 
Like choicest ruby stricken by the sun. 
For, in that upper clime, effulgence 19 comes 
Of gladness, as here laughter: and below, 
As the mind saddens, murkier grows the shade. 
"God seeth all: and in Him is thy sight," 
Said I, "blest spirit! Therefore will of His 
Cannot to thee be dark. Why then delays 
Thy voice to satisfy my wish untold; 
That voice, which joins the inexpressive song, 
Pastime of Heaven, the which those Ardours sing, 
That cowl them with six shadowing wings 20 outspread? 
I would not wait thy asking, wert thou known 
To me, as throughly I to thee am known." 
He, forthwith answering, thus his words began: 
"The valley of waters,21 widest next to that 22 
Which doth the earth engarland, shapes its course, 
Between discordant shores,23 against the sun 
Inward so far, it makes meridian 2 . there, 
Where was before the horizon. Of that vale 
Dwelt I upon the shore, 'twixt Ebro's stream 
And Macra's,25 that divides with passage brief 
Genoan bounds from Tuscan. East and west 
Are nearly one to Begga 26 and my land 
Whose haven 27 erst was with its own blood warm. 
Who knew my name, were wont to call me F oleo; 
And I did bear impression of this Heaven,28 


19 As joy is expressed by laughter on 
earth, so is it by an increase of splendor 
in Paradise; and, on the contrary, grief 
is betokened in Hell by augmented dark- 
ness. 
20 "Above it stood the seraphims; each 
one had six wings."-Is. vi. 2. 
21 The Mediterranean Sea. 
22 "That." The great ocean. 
23 Europe and Africa. 
24 "Meridian." Extending to the east, 
the Mediterranean at last reaches the 
coast of Palestine, which is on its horizon 


when it enters the Straits of Gibraltar. 
2-5 Ebro, a river to the west, and Macra, 
a river to the east, of Genoa, where Folco 
was born; others think that Marseilles, 
and not Genoa, is here described; and 
then Ebro must be understood of the 
river in Spain. 
26 "Begga." A place in Africa. 
27 Alluding to the slaughter of the 
Genoese by the Saracens in 936. 
28 The planet Venus, by which Folco 
declares himself to have been formerly 
influenced. 



CANTO IX 


PARADISE 


3 2 3 


That now bears mine: for not with fiercer flame 
Glow'd Belus' daughter,29 injuring alike 
Sichæus and Creusa, than did I, 
Long as it suited the unripen'd down 
That fledged my cheek; nor she of Rhodope,30 
That was beguiled of Demophoon; 
Nor Jove's son,31 when the charms of Iole 
Were shrined within his heart. And yet there bides 
No sorrowful repentance here, but mirth, 
Not for the fault, (that doth not come to mind,) 
But for the virtue, whose o'erruling sway 
And providence have wrought thus quaintly. Here 
The skill is look'd into, that fashioneth 
With such effectual working, and the good 
Discern'd, accruing to the lower \-vorld 
From this above. But fully to content 
Thy wishes all that in this sphere have birth, 
Demands my further parle. Inquire thou wouldst, 
Who of this light is denizen, that here 
Beside me sparkles, as the sunbeam doth 
On the clear wave. Know then, the soul of Rahab 32 
Is in that gladsome harbour; to our tribe 
United, and the foremost rank assign'd. 
She to this Heaven,33 at which the shadow ends 
Of your sublunar world, was taken up, 
First, in Christ's triumph, of all souls redeem'd: 
For well behoved, that, in some part of Heaven, 
She should remain a trophy, to declare 
The mighty conquest won with either palm;34 
For that she favour'd first the high exploit 
Of Joshua on the Holy Land, whereof 
The Pope 35 recks little now. Thy city, plant 
Of him,36 that on his Maker turn'd the back, 
And of whose envying so much woe hath sprung, 


29 "Belus' daughter." Dido. 
30 "She of Rhodope." Phyllis. 
31 "Jove's son." Hercules. 
32 "Rahab." Heb. xi. 3 I. 
33 "This planet of Venus, at which the 


shadow of the earth ends (Almagest) 
writes Ptolemy."-Vellutello. 
34 By both hands nailed to the cross. 
35 "Who cares not that the Holy Land 
is in the possession of the Saracens." 
36 "Of him." Of Satan. 



3 2 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO X 


Engenders and expands the cursed flower,37 
That hath made wander both the sheep and lambs, 
Turning the shepherd to a wolf. For this, 
The Gospel and great teachers laid aside, 
The decretals,38 as their stuft margins show, 
Are the sole study. Pope and Cardinals, 
Intent on these, ne'er journey but in thought 
To Nazareth, \vhere Gabriel oped his wings. 
Yet it may chance, ere long, the Vatican,39 
And other most selected parts of Rome, 
That were the grave of Peter's soldiery, 
Shall be deliver'd from the adulterous bond." 


CANTO X 


ARGu:\!E'!\1T.- Their next ascent carries them into the sun, which is the fourth 
heaven. Here they are encompassed with a wreath of blessed spirits, twelve in 
number. Thomas Aquinas, who is one of these, declares the names and endowments 
of the rest. 


L aKING into His First-Born with the Love, 
'Vhich breathes from both eternal, the first Might 
Ineffable, wherever eye or mind 
Can roam, hath in such order all disposed, 
As none may see and fail to enjoy. Raise, then, 
a reader! to the lofty wheels, with me, 
Thy ken directed to the point/ whereat 
One motion strikes on the other. There begin 
Thy wonder of the mighty Architect, 
37 The coin of Florence, the florin; the 39 He alludes either to the death of 
covetous desire of which has excited the Pope Boniface VIII or to the coming of 
Pope to M) much evil. the Emperor Henry VII into Italy; or else 
38 "The decretals." The canon law. So to the transfer of the Holy See from 
in the "De Monarchiâ," lib. iii. p. 137: Rome to Avignon, which took place in 
"There are also a third set, whom they the pontificate of Clement V. 
call Decretalists. These, alike ignorant of 1 To that part of heaven where the 
theology and philosophy, relying wholly equinoctial circle and the Zodiac intersect 
on their decretals (which I indeed esteem each other, where the common motion of 
not unworthy of reverence), in the hope the heavens from east to west may be 
I suppose of obtaining for them a para- said to strike with greatest force against 
mount influence, derogate from the the motion proper to the planets, and 
authority of the empire. Nor is this to this repercussion, as it were, is here the 
be wondered at. when I have heard one strongest, because the velocity of each is 
of them impudently maintaining, that increased to the utmost by their respec- 
traditions are the foundation of the faith tive dist:mces from the poles. 
of the Church." 



CANTO X 


PARADISE 


3 2 5 


Who loves His work so inwardly, His eye 
Doth ever watch it. See, how thence oblique 2 
Brancheth the circle, where the planets roll 
To pour their wished influence on the world; 
Whose path not bending thus, in Heaven above 3 
Much virtue would be lost, and here on earth 
All power well-nigh extinct: or, from direct 
Were its departure distant more or less, 
I' the universal order, great defect 
Must, both in Heaven and here beneath, ensue. 
Now rest thee, reader! on thy bench, and muse 
Anticipative of the feast to come; 
So shall delight make thee not feel thy toil. 
Lo! I have set before thee; for thyself 
Feed now: the matter I indite, henceforth 
Demands entire my thought. Join' d with the part,. 
Which late we told of, the great minister 5 
Of nature, that upon the world imprints 
The virtue of the Heaven, and doles out 
Time for us with his beam, went circling on 
Along the spires,6 where 7 each hour sooner comes; 
And I was with him, weetless of ascent, 
But as a man,8 that weets his thought, ere thinking. 
For Beatrice, she who passeth on 
So suddenly from good to better, time 
Counts not the act, oh then how great must needs 
Have been her brightness! What there was i' th' sun, 
(Where I had enter'd,) not through change of hue, 
But light transparent-did I summon up 
Genius, art, practice-I might not so speak, 
It should be e'er imagined: yet believed 


2 "Oblique." The Zodiac. 
3 If the planets did not preserve that 
order in which they move, they would 
not receive nor transmit their due in- 
fluences; and if the Zodiac were not thus 
oblique; if toward the north it either 
passed or went short of the tropic of 
Cancer, or else toward the south it 
passed, or went short of the tropic of 
Capricorn, it would not divide the sea- 
sons as it now does. 


4 The intersection of the equinoctial 
circle and the Zodiac. 
S "Minister." The sun. 
6 According to Dante, as the earth is 
motionless, the sun passes by a spiral 
motion, from one tropic to another. 
'1 "Where." In which the sun rises 
earlier every day after the vernal equinox. 
8 "But as a man." That is, he was 
quite insensible of it. 



3 26 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
It may be, and the sight be justly craved. 
And if our fantasy fail of such height, 
What marvel, since no eye above the sun 
Hath ever travel'd? Such are they dwell here, 
Fourth famil y9 of the Omnipotent Sire, 
Who of His Spirit and of His Offspring lO sho\vsj 
And holds them still enraptured with the view. 
And thus to me Beatrice: "Thank, oh thank 
The Sun of Angels, Him, who by His grace 
To this perceptible hath lifted thee." 
Never was heart in such devotion bound, 
And with complacency so absolute 
Disposed to render up itself to God, 
As mine was at those words: and so entire 
The love for Him, that held me, it eclipsed 
Beatrice in obli vion. Nought displeased 
Was she, but smiled thereat so joyously, 
That of her laughing eyes the radiance brake 
And scatter'd my collected mind abroad. 
Then saw I a bright band, in liveliness 
Surpassing, who themselves did make the crown, 
And us their centre: yet more sweet in voice, 
Than, in their visage, beaming. Cinctured thus, 
Sometime Latona's daughter we behold, 
When the impregnate air retains the thread 
That weaves her zone. In the celestial court, 
Whence I return, are many jewels found, 
So dear and beautiful, they cannot brook 
Transporting from that realm: and of these lights 
Such was the song. ll Who doth not prune his wing 
To soar up thither, let him 12 look from thence 
For tidings from the dumb. When, singing thus, 
Those burning suns had circled round us thrice, 
As nearest stars around the fixed pole; 
Then seem'd they like to ladies, from the dance 
Not ceasing, but suspense, in silent pause, 
9 "Fourth family." The inhabitants of 11 The song of these spirits was like a 
the sun, the fourth planet. jewel so highly prized that the exporta- 
10 The procession of the third and tion of it is prohibited by law. 
the generation of the second person in 12 Let him not expect intelligence of 
the Trinity. that place, for it surpasses description. 


CANTO X 



CANTO X 


PARADISE 


3 2 7 


Listening, till they have caught the strain anew: 
Suspended so they stood: and, from within, 
Thus heard lone, who spake: "Since with its beam 
The Grace, whence true love lighteth first his flame, 
That after doth increase by loving, shines 
So multiplied in thee, it leads thee up 
Along this ladder, down whose hallow'd steps 
None e'er descend, and mount them not again; 
Who from his phial should refuse thee wine 
To slake thy thirst, no less constrained 13 ,vere, 
Than water flowing not unto the sea. 
Thou fain wouldst hear, what plants are these, that bloom 
In the bright garland, which, admiring, girds 
This fair dame round, who strengthens thee for Heaven. 
I, then,14 was of the lambs, that Dominic 
Leads, for his saintly flock, along the way 
Where well they thrive, not swoln with vanity. 
He, nearest on my right hand, brother ,vas, 
And master to me: Albert of Cologne 15 
Is this; and, of Aquinum, Thomas 16 I. 
If thou of all the rest wouldst be assured, 
Let thine eye, waiting on the words I speak, 
In circuit journey round the blessed wreath. 
That next resplendence issues from the smile 
Of Gratian,17 ,vho to either forum 18 lent 


13 "The rivers might as easily cease to 
flow toward the sea, as we could deny 
thee thy request." 
14 "I was of the Dominican order." 
15 Albertus Magnus was born at Laugin- 
gen, in Thuringia, in 1193, and studied 
at Paris and at Padua; at the latter place 
he entered into the Dominican order. He 
then taught theology in various parts of 
Germany, and particularly at Cologne. 
Thomas Aquinas was his favorite pupil. 
In 1260 he reluctantly accepted the 
bishopric of Ratisbon, and in two years 
after resigned it, and returned to his cell 
in Cologne, where the remainder of his 
life was passed in superintending the 
school, and in composing his voluminous 
works on divinity and natural science. He 
died in 1280. 
16 Thomas Aquinas, of whom Bucer is 


reported to have said, "Take but Thomas 
away, and I will overturn the Church of 
Rome"; and whom Hooker terms "the 
greatest among the school divines"- 
("Ecd. Pol." b. iii. 
 9), was born of 
noble parents, who anxiously but vainly 
endeavored to divert him from a life of 
celibacy and study. He died in 1274, at 
the age of forty-seven. 
17 "Gratian." Gratian, a Benedictine 
monk belonging to the convent of St. 
Felix and Nabor, at Bologna, and by birth 
a Tuscan, composed, about the year 1130, 
for the use of the schools, an abridgement 
or epitome of canon law, drawn from the 
letters of the pontiffs, the decrees of coun- 
cils and the writings of the ancient 
doctors. 
18 "To either forum." By reconciling 
the civil with the canon law. 



3 28 


THE DIVINE C01\1EDY 


CANTO X 


Such help, as favour wins in Paradise. 
The other, nearest, who adorns our quire, 
Was Peter, 19 he that with the widow gave 
To holy Church his treasure. The fifth light,2O 
Goodliest of all, is by such love inspired, 
That all your world craves tidings of his doom: 21 
Within, there is a lofty light, endow'd 
With sapience so profound, if truth be truth, 
That with a ken of such wide amplitude 
No second hath arisen. Next behold 
That taper's radiance,22 to whose view was shown, 
Clearliest, the nature and the ministry 
Angelical, while yet in flesh it dwelt. 
In the other little light serenely smiles 
That pleader 23 for the Christian temples, he, 
Who did provide Augustin of his lore. 
Now, if thy mind's eye pass from light to light, 
Upon my praises following, of the eighth 24 
Thy thirst is next. The saintly soul, that shows 
The world's deceitfulness, to all who hear him, 
Is, with the sight of all the good that is, 
Blest there. The limbs, whence it was driven, lie 


19 "Peter." Pietro Lombardo was of ob- 
scure origin, nor is the place of his birth 
in Lombardy ascertained. With a recom- 
mendation from the Bishop of Lucca to 
St. Bernard, he went into France to con- 
tinue his studies; and for that purpose re- 
mained some time at Rheims, whence he 
proceeded to Paris. Here his reputation 
was so great that Philip, brother of Louis 
VII, being chosen Bishop of Paris, re- 
signed that dignity to Pietro, whose pupil 
he had been. He held his bishopric only 
one year, and died II 60. His "Liber 
Sententiarum" is highly esteemed. It con- 
tains a system of scholastic theology, 
much more complete than any which had 
been yet seen. 
20 "The fifth light." Solomon. 
'U "His doom." It was a common ques- 
<jon, it seems, whether Solomon were 
5öved or no. 
22 St. Dionysius, the Areopagite. "The 
famous Grecian fanatic, who gave himself 


out for Dionysius the Areopagite, disciple 
of St. Paul, and who, under the protec- 
tion of this venerable name, gave laws 
and instructions to those that were de- 
sirous of raising their souls above all 
human things, in order to unite them to 
their great source by sublime contempla- 
tion, lived most probably in the fourth 
century." Maclaine's Mosheim. 
23 "That pleader." In the fifth century, 
Paulus Orosius "acquired a considerable 
degree of reputation by the history he 
wrote to refute the cavils of the Pagans 
against Christianity, and by his books 
against the Pelagians and Priscillianists." 
Ibid. 
24 Boëtius, whose book "de Conso- 
latione Philosophiæ," excited so much at- 
tention during the Middle Ages, was born 
about 470. "In 524 he was cruelly put 
to death by Theodoric, either on real or 
pretended 
uspicion of his being engaged 
in a conspiracy." Della LeU. I tal. 



CANTO XI 


PARADISE 


3 2 9 


Down in Cieldauro;25 and from martyrdom 
And exile came it here. Lo! further on, 
vVhere flames the arduous spirit of Isidore;26 
Of Bede;27 and Richard,28 more than man, erewhile, 
In deep discernment. Lastly this, from whom 
Thy look on me reverteth, was the beam 
Of one, whose spirit, on high musings bent, 
Rebuked the lingering tardiness of death. 
It is the eternal light of Sigebert 29 
Who 'scaped not envy, when of truth he argued, 
Reading in the straw-litter'd street."30 Forthwith, 
As clock, that calleth up the spouse of God 31 
To win her Bridegroom's love at matin's hour, 
Each part of other fitly drawn and urged, 
Sends out a tinkling sound, of note so sweet, 
Affection springs in well-disposed breast; 
Thus saw I move the glorious wheel; thus heard 
Voice answering voice, so musical and soft, 
It can be known but where day endless shines. 


CANTO XI 


ARGUMENT.-Thomas Aquinas enters at large into the life and character of St. 
Francis; and then solves one of two difficulties, which he perceived to have risen in 
Dante
s mind from what he had heard in the last Canto. 


O FOND anxiety of mortal men! 
How vain and inconclusive arguments 
Are those, which make thee beat thy wings below. 
For statutes one, and one for aphorisms 1 
25 "Cieldauro." BDëtius was buried at prior of the monastery of that name at 
Pavia, in the monastery of St. Pietro in Paris; and died in 1173. "He was at the 
Ciel d'Oro. head of the Mystics in this century; and 
26 He was Archbishop of Seville during his treatise, entitled the "Mystical Ark," 
forty years, and died in 635. which contains as it were the marrow of 
21 "Bede." Bede, whose virtues ob- this kind of theology, was received with 
t2ined him the appellation of the Vener- the greatest avidity." Maclaine's Mosheim. 
able, was born in 672, at Wearmouth and 29 A monk of the Abbey of Gemblours, 
Jarrow in the bishopric of Durham, and in high repute at the end of the eleventh, 
died at Jarrow in 735. Invited to Rome and beginning of the twelfth century. 
by Pope Sergius I, he preferred passing 30 The name of a street in Paris; the 
almost the whole of his life in the seclu- "Rue de Fouarre." 
sion of a monastery. 31 The Church. 
28 Richard of St. Victor, a native either 1 The study of medicine. 
of Scotland or Ireland, was canon and 



33 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XI 


Was hunting; this the priesthood follow'd; that, 
By force or sophistry, aspired to rule; 
To rob, another; and another sought, 
By civil business, wealth; one, moiling, lay 
Tangled in net of sensual delight; 
And one to wistless indolence resign'd; 
What time from all these empty things escaped, 
With Beatrice, I thus gloriously 
Was raised aloft, and made the guest of Heaven. 
They of the circle to that point, each one, 
vVhere erst it was, had turn'd; and steady glow'd, 
As candle in his socket. Then within 
The lustre/ that erewhile bespake me, smiling 
With merer gladness, heard I thus begin: 
"E'en as His beam illumes me, so I look 
Into the Eternal Light, and clearly mark 
Thy thoughts, from \vhence they rise. Thou art in doubt, 
And \vouldst, that I should bolt my \vords afresh 
In such plain open phrase, as may be smooth 
To thy perception, \vhere I told thee late 
That 'well they thrive';3 and that 'no second such 4 
Hath risen,' \vhich no small distinction needs. 
"The Providence, that governeth the world, 
In depth of counsel by created ken 
Unfathomable, to the end that she,5 
Who with loud cries was 'spoused in precious blood, 
Might keep her footing toward her well-beloved,6 
Safe in herself and constant unto Him, 
Hath two ordain'd, who should on either hand 
In chief escort her: one,7 seraphic all 
In fervency; for wisdom upon earth, 
The other,S splendour of cherubic light. 
I but of one \vill tell: he tells of both, 
Who one commendeth, which of them soe' er 
Be taken: for their deeds were to one end. 
"Between Tupino,9 and the wave that falls 
2 Th
 spirit of Thomas Aquinas. 7 "One." St. Francis. 
3 See the last Canto, v. 93. 8 "The other." St. Dominic. 
4 See the last Canto, v. I II. 9 Thomas Aquinas describes the birth- 
5 "She." The Church. place of St. Francis, between Tupino, a 
6 Jesus Christ. rivulet near Assisi, or Ascesi, where the 



CANTO XI 


PARADISE 


33 1 


From blest Ubaldo's chosen hill, there hangs 
Rich slope of mountain high, whence heat and cold lO 
Are wafted through Perugia's eastern gate: 
And Nocera with Gualdo, in its rear, 
Mourn for their heavy yoke. 11 Upon that side, 
Where it doth break its steepness most, arose 
A sun upon the world, as duly this 
From Ganges doth: therefore let none, who speak 
Of that place, say Ascesi; for its name 
Were lamely so deliver'd; but the East, 
To call things rightly, be it henceforth styled. 
He was not yet much distant from his rising, 
When his good influence ' gan to bless the earth. 
A dame/ 2 to whom none openeth pleasure's gate 
More than to death, was, , gainst his father's will,13 
His stripling choice: and he did make her his, 
Before the spiritual court,14 by nuptial bonds, 
And in his father's sight: from day to day, 
Then loved her more devoutly. She, bereaved 
Of her first Husband/ 5 slighted and obscure, 
Thousand and hundred years and more, remain'd 
Without a single suitor, till he came. 
Nor aught avail'd, that, with Amyclas/ 6 she 
Was found unmoved at rumour of his voice, 
Who shook the world: nor aught her constant boldness, 
Whereby \vith Christ she mounted on the Cross, 
When Mary stay'd beneath. But not to deal 


saint was born in I 182, and Chiasciò, a 
stream that rises in a mountain near 
Agobbio, chosen by St. Ubaldo for his re- 
tirement. 
10 Cold from the snow, and heat from 
the reflection of the sun. 
11 Vellutello understands this of the 
vicinity of the "mountain" to Nocera and 
Gualdo; and Venturi of the heavy im- 
positions laid on those places by the 
Perugians. 
12 In the under church of St. Francis, 
Assisi, is a picture painted by Giotto from 
this subject. It is considered one of the 
artist's best works. See Kugler's "Hand- 
book of the History of Painting, trans- 
lated by a lady." Lond. 184 2 , p. 48. 


13 In opposition to the wishes of his 
natural father. 
14 He made a vow of poverty in the 
presence of the bishop and of his natural 
father. 
15 "Her first Husband." Christ. 
16 Lucan makes Cæsar exclaim, on wit- 
nessing the secure poverty of the fisher- 
man Amyclas:- 
"0 happy poverty! thou greatest good 
Bestow'd by Heaven, but seldom under- 
stood I 
Here nor the cruel spoiler seeks his 
prey, 
Nor ruthless armies take their dreadful 
way." etc.-Rowe. 



33 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XI 


Thus closely with thee longer, take at large 
The lovers' titles-Poverty and Francis. 
Their concord and glad looks, wonder and love, 
And sweet regard gave birth to holy thoughts, 
So much, that venerable Bernard 17 first 
Did bare his feet, and, in pursuit of peace 
So heavenly, ran, yet deem'd his footing slow. 
o hidden riches! 0 prolific good! 
Egidius 18 bares him next, and next Sylvester,19 
And follow, both, the bridegroom: so the bride 
Can please them. Thenceforth goes he on his way, 
The father and the master, with his spouse, 
And with that family, \vhom no\v the cord 20 
Girt humbly: nor did abjectness of heart 
Weigh down his eyelids, for that he was son 
Of Pietro Bernardone,21 and by men 
In wondrous sort despised. But royally 
His hard intention he to Innocent 22 
Set forth; and, from him, first received the seal 
On his religion. Then, when numerous flock'd 
The tribe of lowly ones, that traced his steps, 
Whose marvellous life deservedly \vere sung 
In heights empyreal; through Honorius' 23 hand 
A second crown, to deck their Guardian's virtues, 
Was by the eternal Spirit inwreathed: and \vhen 
He had, through thirst of martyrdom, stood up 
In the proud Soldan's presence,24 and there preach'd 
Christ and His followers, but found the race 
Unripen'd for conversion; back once more 
He hasted (not to intermit his toil) 
And reap'd Ausonian lands. On the hard rock,25 


17 Of Quintavalle; one of the first fol- 
lowers of the saint. 
18 "Egidius." The third of his dis- 
ciples, who died in 1262. His work, 
entitled "Verba Aurea:' was published 
in 1 534, at Antwerp. 
19 Another of hIS earliest associates: 
.20 "Whom now the cord." St. Francis 
bound his body with a cord, in sign that 
it required, like a beast, to be led by a 
hal ter. 


21 A man in an humble station of life 
at Assisi. 
22 Pope Innocent III. 
23 "Honorius." His successor Honorius 
III, who granted certain privileges to the 
Franciscans. 
24 The Soldan of Egypt, before whom 
St. Francis is said to have preached. 
25 Mt. Alverna in the Apennines. 



CANTO XI 


PARADISE 


333 


'Twixt Arno and the Tiber, he from Christ 
Took the last signet,26 which his limbs two years 
Did carry. Then, the season come that He, 
Who to such good had destined him, was pleased 
To advance him to the meed, which he had earn'd 
By his self-humbling; to his brotherhood, 
As their just heritage, he gave in charge 
His dearest lady:27 and enjoin'd their love 
And faith to her; and, from her bosom, will'd 
His goodly spirit should move forth, returning 
To its appointed kingdom; nor would have 
His body28 laid upon another bier. 
"Think now of one, who were a fit colleague 
To keep the bark of Peter, in deep sea, 
Helm'd to right point; and such our Patriarch 29 was. 
Therefore who follow him as he enjoins, 
Thou mayst be certain, take good lading in. 
But hunger of new viands tempts his flock;30 
So that they needs into strange pastures wide 
Must spread them: and the more remote from him 
The stragglers wander, so much more they come 
Home, to the sheep-fold, destitute of milk. 
There are of them, in truth, who fear their harm, 
And to the shepherd cleave; but these so few, 
A little stuff may furnish out their cloaks. 
"Now, if my words be clear; if thou have ta'en 
Good heed; if that, which I have told, recall 
To mind; thy wish may be in part fulfìll'd: 
For thou wilt see the plant from whence they split;31 
And he shall see, who girds him, what that means, 
'That well they thrive, not swoln with vanity.'" 


26 "The last signet." Alluding to the 
rfigmafa, or marks resembling the wounds 
of Christ, said to have been found on the 
saint's body. 
27 "His dearest lady." Poverty. 
28 He forbade any funeral pomp to be 
observed at his burial; and, as it is said, 
ordered that his remains should be de- 


posited in a place where criminals were 
executed and interred. 
29 St. Dominic, to whose order Thomas 
Aquinas belonged. 
30 "His flock." The Dominicans. 
31 "The rule of their order, which the 
Dominicans neglect to observe." 



334 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XII 


CANTO XII 


ARGUME
T.-A second circle of glorified souls encompasses the first. Buonaventura, 
who is one of them, celebrates the praises of St. Dominic, and informs Dante who the 
other eleven are, that are in this second circle or garland. 


S OON as its final word the blessed flame l 
Had raised for utterance, straight the holy mi1l 2 
Began to wheel; nor yet had once revolved, 
Or e'er another, circling, compass'd it, 
Motion to motion, song to song, conjoining; 
Song, that as much our muses doth excel, 
Our Syrens with their tuneful pipes, as ray 
Of primal splendour doth its faint reflex. 
As when, if Juno bid her handmaid forth, 
Two arches parallel, and trick'd alike, 
Span the thin cloud, the outer taking birth 
From that within (in manner of that voice 3 
Whom love did melt away, as sun the mist), 
And they who gaze, presageful call to mind 
The compact, made with Noah, of the world 
No more to be o'erflow'd; about us thus, 
Of sempiternal roses, bending, wreathed 
Those garlands twain; and to the innermost 
E'en thus the external answer'd. When the footing, 
And other great festivity, of song, 
And radiance, light with light accordant, each 
Jocund and blythe, had at their pleasure still'd, 
(E'en as the eyes, by quick volition moved, 
Are shut and raised together), from the heart 
Of one' amongst the new lights 5 moved a voice, 


1 Thomas Aquinas. 
2 The circle of spirits. 
3 One rainbow giving back the image 
of the other, as sound is reflected by 
Echo, that nymph, who was melted away 
by her fondness for Narcissus, as vapor 
is melted by the sun. The reader will 
observe in the text not only a second and 
third simile within the first, but two 
mythological and one sacred allusion 
bound up together with the whole. Even 
after this accumulation of imagery, the 
two circles of spirits, by whom Beatrice 


and Dante were encompassed, are by a 
bold figure termed two garlands of never- 
fading roses. 
, "One." St. Buonaventura, general 
of the Franciscan order, in which he 
effected some reformation; and one of the 
most profound divines of his age. "He 
refused the archbishopric of York, which 
was offered him by Clement IV, but af- 
terward was prevailed on to accept the 
bishopric of Albano and a cardinal's hat. 
He was born at Bagnoregio or Bagnorea, 
in Tuscany, A. D. 1221, and died in 



CANTO XII 


PARADISE 


335 


That made me seem 6 like needle to the star, 
In turning to its whereabout; and thus 
Began: "The love,7 that makes me beautiful, 
Prompts me to tell of the other guide, for \vhom 
Such good of mine is spoken. Where one is, 
The other worthily should also be; 
That as their warfare was alike, alike 
Should be their glory. Slow, and full of doubt, 
And \vith thin ranks, after its banner moved 
The army of Christ, (which it so dearly cost 
To reappoint), when its imperial Head 
Who reigneth ever, for the drooping host 
Did make provision, through grace alone, 
And not through its deserving. As thou heard'st,8 
Two champions to the succour of His spouse 
He sent, who by their deeds and words might join 
Again His scatter'd people. In that clime 9 
Where springs the pleasant west-wind to unfold 
The fresh leaves, with which Europe sees herself 
New-garmented; nor from those billows lO far, 
Beyond whose chiding, after weary course, 
The sun doth sometimes ll hide him; safe abides 
The happy Callaroga,12 under guard 
Of the great shield, wherein the lion lies 
Subjected and supreme. And there was born 
The loving minion of the Christian faith,13 
The hallow'd \vrestler, gentle to his own, 


1274." Dict. Histor. par Chaudon et 
Delandine, Ed. Lyon. 1804. 
5 In the circle that had newly sur- 
rounded the first. 
a "'That made me turn to it, as the 
needle does to the pole'" 
7 "The love." By an act of mutual 
courtesy, Buonaventura, a Franciscan, is 
made to proclaim the praises of St. Dom- 
inic, as Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican, 
has celebrated those of St. Francis; and in 
like manner each blames the irregulari- 
ties, not of the other's order, but of that 
to which himself belonged. Even Mac- 
chiavelli, no great friend to the Church, 
attributes the revival of Christianity to 
the influence of these two saints. 


8 See the last Canto, v. 33. . 
9 "In that clime." Spain. 
10 "Those billows." The Atlantic. 
11 During the summer soistice. 
12 "Callaroga:' Between Osma and 
Aranda, in Old Castile designated by the 
royal coat-of-arms. 
13 Dominic was born April 5, II7o, and 
died August 6, 1221. His birthplace 
Callaroga; his father and mother's names. 
Felix, and Joanna; his mother's dream
 
his name of Dominic, given him in con- 
sequence of a vision by his godmother, 
are all told in an anonymous life of the 
saint, said to have been writt
n in thE" 
thirteenth century. 



33 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XII 


And to his enemies terrible. So replete 
His soul with lively virtue, that when first 
Created, even in the mother's womb,14 
It prophesied. When, at the sacred font, 
The spousals were complete 'twixt faith and him, 
Where pledge of mutual safety was e
changed, 
The dame/ 5 who was his surety, in her sleep 
Beheld the wondrous fruit, that was from him 
And from his heirs to issue. And that such 
He might be construed, as indeed he was, 
She was inspired to name him of his owner, 
Whose he was \vholly; and so call'd him Dominic. 
And I speak of him, as the labourer, 
Whom Christ in His own garden chose to be 
His help-mate. Messenger he seem'd, and friend 
Fast-knit to Christ; and the first love he show'd, 
Was after the first counsep6 that Christ gave. 
Many a time 17 his nurse, at entering, found 
That he had risen in silence, and was prostrate, 
As who should say, 'My errand was for this.' 
o happy father! Felix 18 rightly named. 
o favour'd mother! rightly named Joanna; 
If that do mean, as men interpret it. 19 
Not for the world's sake, for which now they toil 
Upon Ostiense 20 and Taddeo's21 lore; 
But for the real manna, soon he grew 
Mighty in learning; and did set himself 


14 His mother, when pregnant with 
him, is said to have dreamt that she 
should bring forth a white and black dog 
with a lighted torch in his mouth, which 
were signs of the habit to be worn by 
his order, and of his fervent zeal. 
15 His godmother's dream was, that he 
had one star in his forehead and another 
in the nape of his neck, from which he 
communicated light to the east and the 
west. 
16 "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be 
perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and 
give to the poor, and thou shalt have 
treasure in heaven; and come and follow 
me."-Matt. xix. 21. Dominic is said 
to have followed this advice. 


17 His nurse, when she returned to him, 
often found that he had left his bed, and 
was prostrate, and in prayer. 
18 "Felix." Felix Gusman. 
19 Grace or gift of the Lord. 
20 Arrigo (about 1250 A. D.), a native 
of Susa, and cardinal of Ostia and Velletri, 
hence his name of Ostiense, was cele- 
brated for his lectures on the Decretals. 
21 "Taddeo." Either the physician or 
the lawyer of that name. The former, 
T. d' Alderotto, a Florentine, called the 
Hippocratean, translated the Ethics of 
Aristotle into Latin; and died toward the 
end of the thirteenth century. The other, 
of Bologna, left no writings behind him. 



CANTO XII 


PARADISE 


337 


To go about the vineyard, that soon turns 
To wan and wither'd, if not tended well: 
And from the see 22 (whose bounty to the just 
And needy is gone by, not through its fault, 
But his \vho fills it basely), he besought, 
No dispensation 23 for commuted wrong, 
Nor the first vacant fortune,24 nor the tenths 
That to God's paupers rightly appertain, 
But, 'gainst an erring and degenerate world, 
License to fight, in favour of that seed 25 
From which the twice twelve cions gird thee round. 
Then, with sage doctrine and good will to help, 
Forth on his great apostleship he fared, 
Like torrent bursting fron1 a lofty vein; 
And, dashing , gainst the stocks of heresy, 
Smote fiercest, where resistance was most stout. 
Thence many rivulets have since been turn'd, 
Over the garden catholic to lead 
Their living waters, and have fed its plants. 
"If such, one wheep6 of that two-yoked car, 
Wherein the holy Church defended her, 
And rode triumphant through the civil broil; 
Thou canst not doubt its fellow's excellence, 
Which Thomas,27 ere my coming, hath declared 
So courteously unto thee. But the track,28 
Which its smooth fellies made, is now deserted: 
That, mouldy mother is, where late were lees. 
His family, that wont to trace his path, 
Turn backward, and invert their steps; erelong 
To rue the gathering in of their ill crop, 
When the rej ected tares 29 in vain shall ask 
22 "The apostolic see, which no longer from which have sprung up these four- 
continues its wonted liberality toward the and-twenty plants, these holy spirits that 
indigent and deserving; not indeed now environ thee." 
through its own fault, as its doctrines are 26 Dominic; as the other wheel is 
still the same, but through the fault of Francis. 
the pontiff, who is se
ted in it." 21"Thomas." Thomas Aquinas. 
23 Dominic did not ask for license to 28 "But the track." "But the rule of 
compound for the use of unjust acquisi- St. Francis is already deserted; and the 
tions by dedicating a part of them to pious lees of the wine are turned into mould i- 
purposes. ness." 
24 The first benefice that feU vacant. 29 "Tares." He adverts to the parable 
25 "For that seed of the divine Word. of the tares and the wheat. 



33 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XII 


Admittance to the barn. I question not 30 
But he, who search'd our volume, leaf by leaf, 
Might still find page with this inscription on't
 
'I am as 1 was wont.' Yet such were not 
From Acquasparta nor Casale, whence, 
Of those who come to meddle with the text, 
One stretches and another cramps its rule. 
Bonaventura's life in me behold, 
From Bagnoregio; one, who, in discharge 
Of my great offices, still laid aside 
All sinister aim. III uminato here, 
And Agostin0 31 join me: two they were, 
Among the first of those barefooted meek ones, 
Who sought God's friendship in the cord: with 
them 
Hugues of Saint Victor;32 Pietro Mangiadore;33 
And he of Spain 34 in his twelve volumes shining; 
Nathan the prophet; Metropolitan 
Chrysostom;35 and Anselmo;36 and, who deign'd 
To put his hand to the first art, Donatus. 
30 "I question not." "Some indeed 34 To Pope Adrian V succeeded John 
might be found, who still observe the rule XXI, a native of Lisbon; a man of great 
af the order; but such would come neither genius and extraordinary acquirements, 
from Casale nor Acquasparta." At Ca- especially in logic and in medicine, as 
sale, in Monferrat, the discipline had been his books, written in the name of Peter of 
enforced by Uberto with unnecessary Spain, (by which he was known before 
rigor; and at Acquasparta, in the territory he became Pope), may testify. He was 
of Todi, it had been equally relaxed by killed at Viterbo, by the falling in of the 
the Cardinal Matteo, general of the order. roof of his chamber, after he had been 
31 Two among the earliest followers of pontiff only eight months and as many 
St. Francis. days, A. D. 1277. 
32 "Hugues of Saint Victor." He was 35 "Chrysostom:' The eloquent Pa- 
of the monastery of St. Victor at Paris, triarch of Constantinople. 
and died in 1142, at the age of forty-four. 36 Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
His ten books, illustrative of the celestial was born at Aosta, about 1034, and 
hierarchy of Dionysius the Areopagite, ac- studied under Lanfranc, at the monastery 
cording to the translation of Joannes of Bec in Normandy, where he afterward 
Scotus, are inscribed to King Louis, son devoted himself to a religious life, in his 
of Louis Ie Gros, by whom the monas" twenty-seventh year. In three years he 
tery had been founded. was made prior, and then abbot of that 
33 "Pietro Mangiadore." Petrus Comes- monastery; from whence he was taken, 
tor, or the Eater, born at Troyes, was in 1093, to succeed to the archbishopric, 
canon and dean of that church, and vacant by the death of Lanfranc. He 
afterward chancellor of the church of enjoyed this dignity till his death in 1109. 
Paris. He relinquished these benefices though it was disturbed by many dis- 
to become a regular canon of St. Victor sensions with William II and Henry I 
at Paris, where he died in 1198. respecting immunities and investitures. 



CANTO XIII 


PARADISE 


339 


Raban 37 is here; and at my side there shines 
Calabria's abbot, Joachim,38 endow'd 
With soul prophetic. The bright courtesy 
Of friar Thomas and his goodly lore, 
Have moved me to the blazon of a peer 39 
So worthy; and with me have moved this throng." 


CANTO XIII 


ARGUMENT.-Thomas Aquinas resumes his speech. He solves the other of those 
doubts which he discerned in the mind of Dante, and warns him earnestly against 
assenting to any proposition without having duly examined it. 


I: T him,t who would conceive what now I saw, 
Imagine, (and retain the image firm 
As mountain rock, the whilst he hears me speak,) 
Of stars, fifteen, from midst the ethereal host 
Selected that, with lively ray serene, 
O'ercome the massiest air: thereto imagine 
The wain, that, in the bosom of our sky, 
Spins ever on its axle night and day, 
With the bright summit of that horn, which swells 
Due from the pole, round which the first wheel rolls, 
To have ranged themselves in fashion of two signs 
In Heaven, such as Ariadne made, 
When death's chill seized her; and that one of them 
Did compass in the other's beam; and both 
In such sort whirl around, that each should tend 
With opposite motion; and, conceiving thus, 
Of that true constellation, and the dance 
Twofold, that circled me, he shall attain 
As 'twere the shadow; for things there as much 
Surpass our usage, as the swiftest Heaven 
Is swifter than the Chiana. 2 There was sung 


31 Rabanus Maurus, Archbishop of 
Mentz, 847, is placed at the head of the 
Latin writers of this age. 
38 Abbot of Flora in Calabria; whom 
the multitude revered as divinely inspired, 
and equal to the most illustrious prophets 
of ancient times. 
39 "A peer." St. Dominic. 
1 "Let him." "Whoever wou!d con- 


ceive the sight that now presented itself 
to me, must imagine to himself fifteen of 
the brightest stars in heaven, together 
with seven stars of Arcturus Major and 
two of Arcturus Minor, ranged in two 
circles, one within the other, each re- 
sembling the crown of Ariadne, and 
moving round in opposite directions." 
2 See Hell, Canto xxix. 45. 



34 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIU 


No Bacchus, and no 10 Pæan, but 
Three Persons in the Godhead, and in one 
Person that nature and the human join'd. 
The song and round were measured: and to us 
Those saintly lights attended, happier made 
At each new ministering. Then silence brake 
Amid the accordant sans of Deity, 
That luminary,3 in which the wondrous life 
Of the meek man of God 4 was told to me; 
And thus it spake: "One ear5 0' the harvest thresh'd. 
And its grain safely stored, sweet charity 
Invites me with the other to like toil. 
"Thou know'st, that in the bosom,6 whence the rib 
Was ta'en to fashion that fair cheek, whose taste 
All the world pays for; and in that, which pierced 
By the keen lance, both after and before 
Such satisfaction offer'd as outweighs 
Each evil in the scale; whate'er of light 
To human nature is allow'd, must all 
Have by His virtue been infused, who form'd 
Both one and other: and thou thence admirest 
In that I told thee, of beatitudes, 
A second there is none to him enclosed 
In the fifth radiance. Open now thine eyes 
To what I answer thee; and thou shalt see 
Thy deeming and my saying meet in truth, 
As centre in the round. Thae which dies not, 
And that which can die, are but each the beam 
Of that idea, which our Sovereign Sire 
Engendereth loving; for that lively light,S 


3 Thomas Aquinas. 
.. St. Francis. See Canto xi. 25. 
:; "Having solved one of thy questions, 
I proceed to answer the other. Thou 
thinkest then that Adam and Christ were 
both endued with all the perfection of 
which the human nature is. capable; and 
therefore wonderest at what has been 
said concerning Solomon." 
6 "Thou knowest that in the breast of 
Adam, whence the rib was taken to make 
that fair cheek of Eve, which, by tasting 
the apple, brought death into the world; 


and also in the breast of Christ, which, 
being pierced by the lance, made satis- 
faction for the sins of the whole world; 
as much wisdom resided, as human na- 
ture was capable of: and thou dost there- 
fore wonder that I should have spoken 
of Solomon as the wisest." See Canto x. 
1 0 5. 
1 ccThat." Things, corruptible and in- 
corruptible, are only emanations from the 
archetypal idea residing in the Divine 
Mind. 
s The Word; the Son of God. 



CANTO XIII 


PARADISE 


34 1 


Which passeth from His splendour, not disjoin'd 
From Him, nor from His love triune with them,9 
Doth, through His bounty, congregate itself, 
Mirror'd, as 'twere, in new existences;lo 
Itself unalterable, and ever one. 
"Descending hence unto the lowest powers,l1 
Its energy so sinks, at last it makes 
But brief contingencies; for so I name 
Things generated, which the heavenly orbs 
Moving, with seed or without seed, produce. 
Their wax, and that which moulds it,12 differ much: 
And thence with lustre, more or less, it shows 
The ideal stamp imprest: so that one tree, 
According to his kind, hath better fruit, 
And worse: and, at your birth, ye, mortal men, 
Are in your talents various. Were the wax 
Moulded with nice exactness, and the heaven 13 
In its disposing influence supreme, 
The brightness of the seal 14 should be complete: 
But nature renders it imperfect ever; 
Resembling thus the artist, in his work, 
Whose faltering hand is faithless to his skill. 
Therefore,15 if fervent Love dispose, and mark 
The lustrous Image of the primal Virtue, 
There all perfection is vouchsafed; and such 
The clay16 was made, accomplish'd with each gift
 
That life can teem with; such the burden fill'd 
The Virgin's bosom: so that I commend 
Thy judgment, that the human nature ne'er 
Was, or can be, such as in them it was. 
"Did I advance no further than this point; 
'Hovv then had he no peer?' thou might'st reply. 
But, that what now appears not, may appear 
9 "His love triune with them." 14 The brightness of the Divine idea 
The Holy Ghost. before spoken of. 
10 Angels and human souls. 15 "Therefore." Daniello remarks that 
11 Irrational life and brute matter. our Poet intends this for a brief de- 
12 "Their wax, and that which moulds scription of the Trinity: the primal virtue 
it." Matter, and the virtue or energy signifying the Father; the lustrous image, 
that acts on it. the Son; the fervent love, the Holy 
13 "The heaven." The influence of the Ghost. 
planetary bodies. 16 "The clay. n Adam. 



34 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIII 


Right plainly, ponder, who he was, and what 
(When he was bidden 'Ask') the motive, sway'd 
To his requesting. I have spoken thus, 
That thou mayst see, he was a king, who ask'd 17 
For wisdom, to the end he might be king 
Sufficient: not, the number to search out 
Of the celestial movers; or to know, 
If necessary with contingent e'er 
Have made necessity; or whether that 
Be granted, that first motion 18 is; or if, 
Of the mid-circle,19 can by art be made 
Triangle, with its corner blunt or sharp. 
"Whence, noting that, which I have said, and this, 
Thou kingly prudence and that ken mayst learn, 
At which the dart of my intention aims. 
And, marking clead y, that I told thee, 'Risen,' 
Thou shalt discern it only hath respect 
To kings, of whom are many, and the good 
Are rare. With this distinction take my words; 
And they may well consist with that which thou 
Of the first human father dost believe, 
And of our well-beloved. And let this 
Henceforth be lead unto thy feet, to make 
Thee slow in motion, as a weary man, 
Both to the 'yea' and to the 'nay' thou seest not. 
For he among the fools is down full low, 
Whose affirmation, or denial, is 
Without distinction, in each case alike. 
Since it befalls, that in most instances 
Current opinion leans to false: and then 
Affection bends the judgment to her ply. 
"Much more than vainly doth he loose from shore, 


17 "Who ask'd." "He did not desire 
to know the number of the celestial in- 
telligences, or to pry into the subtleties 
of logical, metaphysical, or mathematical 
science: but asked for that wisdom which 
might fit him for his kingly office." 
18 "That first motion." "If we must 
allow one first motion, which is not 
caused by other motion; a question re- 
solved affirmatively by metaphysics, ac- 


cording to that principle, repugnant in 
causis processus in infinitum." Lombardi. 
19 "Of the mid-circle." "If in the half 
of the circle a rectilinear triangle can be 
described, one side of which shall be the 
diameter of the same circle, without its 
forming a right angle with the other two 
sides; which geometry shows to be im- 
possible." Lombardi. 



CANTO XIII 


PARADISE 


343 


Since he returns not such as he set forth, 
'\Tho fishes for the truth and wanteth skill. 
And open proofs of this unto the \vorld 
Have been afforded in Parmenides, 
Melissus, Bryso,2O and the crowd beside, 
Who journey'd on, and knew not whither: so did 
Sabellius, Arius,21 and the other fools, 
Who, like to scimitars,22 reflected back 
The scripture-image by distortion marr'd. 
"Let not the people be too swift to judge; 
As one who reckons on the blades in field, 
Or e'er the crop be ripe. For I have seen 
The thorn frown rudely all the winter long, 
And after bear the rose upon its top; 
And bark, that all her way across the sea 
Ran straight and speedy, perish at the last 
E' en in the haven's mouth. Seeing one steal, 
Another bring his offering to the priest, 
Let not 23 Dame Birtha and Sir Martin 24 thence 
Into Heaven's counsels deem that they can pry; 
For one of these may rise, the other fall." 


20 "-Parmenides, 
Melissus, Bryso." 
For the singular opinions entertained by 
the two former of these heathen philos- 
ophers, see Diogenes Laertius, lib. ix. 
21 "Sabellius, Arius." Well-known 
heretics. 
22 "Scimitars..' Bertradon de la Broc- 
quière, who wrote before Da.lte, informs 
us that the wandering Arabs used their 
scimitars as mirrors. 


23 "Let not." "Let not shortsighted 
mortals presume to decide on the future 
doom of any man, from a consideration 
of his present character and actions." This 
is meant as an answer to the doubts 
entertained respecting the salvation of 
Solomon. See Canto x. 107. 
24 "Dame Birtha and Sir Martin." 
Names put generally for persons who 
have more curiosity than discretion. 



344 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIV 


CANTO XIV 


ARGUMENT.-Solomon, who is one of the spirits in the inner circle, declares what 
the appearance of the blest will be after the resurrection of the body. Beatrice and 
Dante are translated into the fifth heaven, which is that of Mars; and here behold 
the souls of those, who had died fighting for the true faith, ranged in the sign 
of the cross, athwart which the spirits move to the sound of a melodious hymn. 


F ROM centre to the circle, and so back 
From circle to the centre, water moves 
In the round chalice, even as the blow 
Impels it, inwardly, or from without. 
Such was the image 1 glanced into my mind, 
As the great spirit of Aquinum ceased; 
And Beatrice, after him, her words 
Resumed alternate : "Need there is (though yet 
He tells it to you not in words, nor e'en 
In thought) that he should fathom to its depth 
Another mystery . Tell him, if the light, 
Wherewith your substance blooms, shall stay with you 
Eternally, as now; and, if it doth, 
How, when 2 ye shall regain your visible forms, 
The sight may without harm endure the change, 
That also tell." As those, who in a ring 
Tread the light measure, in their fitful mirth 
Raise loud the voice, and spring with gladder bound; 
Thus, at the hearing of that pious suit, 
The saintly circles, in their tourneying 
And wondrous note, attested new delight. 
Whoso laments, that we must doff this garb 
Of frail mortality, thenceforth to live 
Immortally above; he hath not seen 
The sweet refreshing of that heavenly shower. 3 
Him, who lives ever, and forever reigns 
In mystic union of the three in one, 
Unbounded, bounding all, each spirit thrice 
Sang, with such melody, as, but to hear, 
For highest merit were an ample meed. 


1 The voice of Thomas Aquinas pro- 
ceeding from the circle to the centre; 
'and that of Beatrice, from the centre to 
the circle. 


2 uWhen." When ye shall be again 
clothed with youc bodies at the resur- 
rection. 
3 That effusion of beatific light. 



CANTO XIV 


PARADISE 


345 


And from the lesser orb the goodliest light,4 
With gentle voice and mild, such as perhaps 
The Angel's once to Mary, thus replied: 
"Long as the joy of Paradise shall last, 
Our love shall shine around that raiment, bright 
As fervent; fervent as, in vision, blest; 
And that as far, in blessedness, exceeding, 
As it hath grace, beyond its virtue, great. 
Our shape, regarmented with glorious weeds 
Of saintly flesh, must, being thus entire, 
Show yet more gracious. Therefore shall increase 
Whate'er, of light, gratuitous imparts 
The Supreme Good; light, ministering aid, 
The better to disclose His glory: whence, 
The vision needs increasing, must increase 
The fervour, which it kindles; and that too 
The ray, that comes from it. But as the gleed 
Which gives out flame, yet in its whiteness shines 
More livelily than that, and so preserves 
Its proper semblance; thus this circling sphere 
Of splendour shall to view less radiant seem, 
Than shall our fleshly robe, which yonder earth 
N ow covers. N or will such excess of light 
0' erpower us, in corporeal organs made 
Firm, and susceptible of all delight." 
So ready and so cordial an HAmen" 
Follow'd from either choir, as plainly spoke 
Desire of their dead bodies; yet perchance 
Not for themselves, but for their kindred dear, 
Mothers and sires, and those whom best they loved, 
Ere they were made imperishable flame. 
And lo! forthwith there rose up round about 
A lustre, over that already there; 
Of equal clearness, like the brightening up 
Of the horizon. As at evening hour 
Of twilight, new appearances through Heaven 
Peer with faint glimmer, doubtfully descried; 
So, there, new substances, methought, began 
To rise in view beyond the other twain, 
4 "The goodliest light." Solomon. 



34 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIV 


And wheeling, sweep their ampler circuit wide. 
o genuine glitter of eternal Beam! 
With what a sudden whiteness did it flow, 
O'erpowering vision in me. But so fair, 
So passing lovely, Beatrice show'd, 
Mind cannot follow it, nor words express 
Her infinite sweetness. Thence mine eyes regain'd 
Power to look up; and I beheld myself, 
Sole with my lady, to more lofty bliss 5 
Translated: for the star, with warmer smile 
Impurpled, well denoted our ascent. 
With all the heart, and with that tongue which speaks 
The same in all, an holocaust I made 
To God, befitting the new grace vouchsafed. 
And from my bosom had not yet upsteam'd 
The fuming of that incense, when I knew 
The rite accepted. With such mighty sheen 
And mantling crimson, in two listed rays 
The splendours shot before me, that I cried, 
"God of Sabaoth! that dost prank them thus!" 
As leads the galaxy from pole to pole, 
Distinguish'd into greater lights and less, 
Its pathway, which the wisest fail to spell; 
So thickly studded, in the depth of Mars, 
Those rays described the venerable sign, 
That quadrants in the round conjoining frame. 
Here memory mocks the toil of genius. Christ 
Beam'd on that cross; and pattern fails me now. 
But whoso takes his cross, and follows Christ, 
Will pardon me for that I leave untold, 
When in the Becker'd dawning he shall spy 
The glitterance of Christ. From horn to horn, 
And 'tween the summit and the base, did move 
Lights, scintillating, as they met and pass'd. 
Thus oft are seen with ever-changeful glance, 
Straight or athwart, now rapid and now slow, 
The atomies of bodies, long or short, 
To move along the sunbeam, whose slant line 
Checkers the shadow interposed by art 
5 "To more lofty bliss." To the planet Mars. 



CANTO XV 


PARADISE 


347 


Against the noontide heat. And as the chime 
Of minstrel music, dulcimer, and harp 
With many strings, a pleasant dinning makes 
To him, who heareth not distinct the note; 
So from the lights, which there appear'd to me, 
Gather'd along the cross a melody, 
That, indistinctly heard, with ravishment 
Possess'd me. Yet I mark'd it was a hymn 
Of lofty praises; for there came to me 
"Arise," and "Conquer," as to one who hears 
And comprehends not. Me such ecstasy 
Ü'ercame, that never, till that hour, was thing 
That held me in so sweet imprisonment. 
Perhaps my saying overbold appears, 
Accounting less the pleasure of those eyes, 
Whereon to look fulfìlleth all desire. 
But he, who is aware those living seals 
Of every beauty work with quicker force, 
The higher they are risen; and that there 
I had not turn'd me to them; he may well 
Excuse me that, whereof in my excuse 
I do accuse me, and may own my truth; 
That holy pleasure here not yet reveal'd, 
Which grows in transport as we mount aloof. 


CANTO XV 


ARGUMENT.-The spirit of Cacciaguida, our Poet's ancestor, glides rapidly to the 
foot of the cross; tells who he is; and speaks of the simplicity of the Florentines in his 
days, since then much corrupted. 


T RUE love, that ever shows itself as clear 
In kindness, as loose appetite in wrong, 
Silenced that lyre harmonious, and still'd 
The sacred cords, that are by Heaven's right hand 
Unwound and tighten'd. How to righteous prayers 
Should they not hearken, who, to give me will 
For praying, in accordance thus were mute? 
He hath in sooth good cause for endless grief, 
Who, for the love of thing that lasteth not, 
Despoils himself forever of that love. 



34 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XV 


As oft along the still and pure serene, 
At nightfall, glides a sudden trail of fire, 
Attracting with involuntary heed 
The eye to follow it, erewhile at rest; 
And seems some star that shifted place in Heaven, 
Only that, whence it kindles, none is lost, 
And it is soon extinct: thus from the horn, 
That on the dexter of the cross extends, 
Down to its foot, one luminary ran 
From mid the cluster shone there; yet no gem 
Dropp'd from its foil: and through the beamy list, 
Like flame in alabaster, glow'd its course. 
So forward stretch'd him (if of credence aught 
Our greater muse may claim) the pious ghost 
Of old Anchises, in the Elysian bower, 
When he perceived his son. "0 thou, my blood! 
o most exceeding grace divine! to whom, 
As now to thee, hath twice the heavenly gate 
Been e'er unclosed?" So spake the light: whence I 
Turn'd me toward him; then unto my dame 
My sight directed: and on either side 
Amazement waited me; for in her eyes 
\Vas lighted such a smile, I thought that mine 
Had dived unto the bottom of my grace 
And of my bliss in Paradise. Forthwith, 
To hearing and to sight grateful alike, 
The spirit to his proem added things 
I understood not, so profound he spake: 
Yet not of choice, but through necessity, 
Mysterious; for his high conception soar'd 
Beyond the mark of mortals. When the flight 
Of holy transport had so spent its rage, 
That nearer to the level of our thought 
The speech descended; the first sounds I heard 
Were, "Blest be thou, Triunal Deity! 
That hast such favour in my seed vouchsafed." 
Then follow' d. "No unpleasant thirst, though long, 
Which took me reading in the sacred book, 
Whose leaves or white or dusky never change, 
Thou hast allay'd, my son! within this light, 



CANTO XV 


PARADISE 


349 


Frorn whence my voice thou hear'st: more thanks to her, 
Who, for such lofty mounting, has \vith plumes 
Begirt thee. Thou dost deem thy thoughts to me 
From Him transmitted, who is first of all, 
E' en as all numbers ray from unity; 
And therefore dost not ask me who I am, 
Or why to thee more joyous I appear, 
Than any other in this gladsome throng. 
The truth is as thou deem'st; for in this life 
Both less and greater in that Mirror look, 
In which thy thoughts, or e'er thou think'st, are shown. 
But, that the love, which keeps me wakeful ever, 
Urging with sacred thirst of sweet desire, 
1vfay be contented fully; let thy voice, 
Fearless, and frank, and jocund, utter forth 
Thy will distinctly, utter forth the wish, 
Whereto my ready answer stands decreed." 
I turn'd me to Beatrice; and she heard 
Ere I had spoken, smiling an assent, 
That to my will gave wings; and I began: 
"To each among your tribe, what time ye kenn'd 
The nature, in whom naught unequal dwells, 
Wisdom and love were in one measure dealt; 
For that they are so equal in the Sun, 
From whence ye drew your radiance and your heat, 
As makes all likeness scant. But \vill and means, 
In mortals, for the cause ye well discern, 
With unlike \vings are fledged. A mortal, I 
Experience inequality like this; 
And therefore give no thanks, but in the heart, 
For thy paternal greeting. This howe'er 
I pray thee, living topaz! that ingemm'st 
This precious jewel; let me hear thy name." 
"I am thy root, l 0 leaf! whom to expect 
Even, hath pleased me." Thus the prompt reply 
Prefacing, next it added: "He, of whom 2 


1 "I am thy root." Cacciaguida, father 
to Alighieri, of whom our Poet was the 
great- grandson. 
2 "He, of whom." "Thy great-grand- 
father, Alighieri, has been in the first 


round of Purgatory more than a hundred 
years; and it is fit that thou by thy good 
deserts shouldst endeavor to shorten the 
time of his remaining there.'" His son 
Bellincione was living in 1266; and of 



35 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XV 


Thy kindred appellation comes, and who, 
These hundred years and more, on its first ledge 
Hath circuited the mountain, was my son, 
And thy great-grandsire. Well befits, his long 
Endurance should he shorten'd by thy deeds. 
"Florence, within her ancient limit-mark, 
Which calls her still 3 to matin prayers and noon, 
Was chaste and sober, and abode in peace. 
She had no armlets and no head-tires then; 
No purfled dames; no zone, that caught the eye 
More than the person did. Time was not yet, 
When 4 at his daughter's birth the sire grew pale, 
For fear the age and dowry should exceed, 
On each side, just proportion. House was none 
Void 5 of its family: nor yet had come 
Sardanapalus,6 to exhibit feats 
Of chamber prowess. Montemal0 7 yet 
O'er our suburban turretS rose; as much 
To be surpast in fall, as in its rising. 
I saw Bellincion Berti 9 walk abroad 
In leathern girdle, and a clasp of bone; 
And, with no artful colouring on her cheeks, 


him was born the father of our Poet, 
whom Benvenuto da Imola calls a lawyer 
by profession. 
3 The public clock being still within 
the circuit of the ancient walls. 
4 When the women were not married 
at too early an age, and did not expect 
too large a portion. 
5 Through the civil wars and banish- 
ments. Or he may mean that houses 
were not formerly built merely for show, 
nor of greater size than was necessary for 
containing the families that inhabited 
them. 
6 Tbe luxurious monarch of Assyria. 
7 Either an elevated spot between Rome 
and Viterbo; or Monte Mario, the site of 
the villa Mellini, commanding a view of 
Rome. 
8 Uccellatojo, near Florence, whence 
that city was discovered. Florence had 
not yet vied with Rome in the grandeur 
of her public buildings. 
9 "Bellincion Berti." Hell, Canto xvi. 


38, and notes. "And observe that in the 
time of the said people (A. D. 1259), 
and before and for a long time after, the 
citizens of Florence lived soberly, on 
coarse viands, and at little cost, and in 
many customs and courtesies of life were 
rude and unpolished; and dressed them- 
selves and their women in coarse cloths: 
many wore plain leather, without cloth 
over it; bonnets on their heads; and all, 
boots on the feet; and the Florentine wo- 
men were without ornament; the better 
sort content with a close gown of scarlet 
cloth of Y pres or of camlet, bound with a 
girdle in the ancient mode, and a mantlc 
lined with fur, and a hood to it, which 
was worn on the head; the common sort 
of women were clad in a coarse gown of 
Cambrai in like manner . . . and with 
their coarse way of living and poverty 
[the Florentines] did greater and more 
virtuous deeds than have been done in 
our times with greater refinement and 
wealth:'-G. Villani, lib. vi. c. lxxi. 



CANTO XV 


PARADISE 


35 1 


His lady leave the glass. The sons I saw 
Of Nerli, and of Vecchio,lO well content 
With unrobed jerkin; and their good dames handling 
The spindle and the flax: 0 happy they! 
Each ll sure of burial in her native land, 
And none left desolate a-bed for France. 
One waked to tend the cradle, hushing it 
With sounds that lull'd the parent's infancy: 
Another, with her maidens, drawing off 
The tresses from the distaff, lectured them 
Old tales of Troy, and Fesole, and Rome. 
A Salterello and Cianghella 12 we 
Had held as strange a marvel, as ye would 
A Cincinnatus or Cornelia now. 
"In such composed and seemly fellowship, 
Such faithful and such fair equality, 
In so sweet household, Mary13 at my birth 
Bestow'd me, call'd on with loud cries; and there, 
In your old baptistery, I was made 
Christian at once and Cacciaguida; as were 
My brethren, Eliseo and Moronto. 
"From Valdipado 14 came to me my spouse; 
And hence thy surname grew. I follow'd then 
The Emperor Conrad: 15 and his knighthood he 
Did gird on me; in such good part he took 
My valiant service. After him I went 
To testify against that evil law, 
Whose people,16 by the Shepherd's fault, possess 
Your right usurp'd. There I by that foul crew 
Was disentangled from the treacherous world 


10 Two opulent families in Florence. 
11 "Each." "None fearful either of 
dying in banishment, or of being deserted 
by her husband on a scheme of traffic 
in France." 
12 The latter a shameless woman of 
the family of Tosa, married to Lito degli 
Alidosi of Imola: the former Lapo Sal- 
terello, a lawyer, with whom Dante was 
at variance. "We should have held an 
abandoned character, like these, as a 
Teat 
wonder, as ye would the contrary now." 
13 "Mary." The Virgin was invoked 


in the pains of child -birth. Purgatory, 
Canto xx. 2 I. 
14 Cacciaguida's wife, whose family 
name was Alighieri, came from Ferrara. 
called Val di Pado, from its being watered 
by the Po. 
15 "Conrad." The Emperor Conrad 
III, who died in I 152. 
16 The Mohammedans, who were left 
in the possession of the Holy Land, 
through the supineness of the Pope. See 
Canto iv. 123. 



35 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVI 


Whose base affection many a spirit soils; 
And from the martyrdom came to this peace." 


CANTO XVI 


ÑtGUMENT.-Cacci:lguida relates the time of his birth; and, describing the extent 
of Florence whèn he lived there, recounts the names of the chief families who then 
inhabited it. Its degeneracy, and subsequent disgrace, he attributes to the introduction 
of families from the neighboring country and villages, and to their mixture with the 
primitive citizens. 


O SLIGHT respect of man's nobility! 
I never shall account it marvellous, 
That our infirm affection here below 
Thou movest to boasting; when I could not chuse, 
E'en in that region of unwarp'd desire, 
In Heaven itself, but make my vaunt in thee. 
Yet cloak thou art soon shorten'd; for that Time, 
Unless thou be eked out from day to day, 
Goes round thee with his shears. Resuming then, 
\Vith greeting 1 such as Rome was first to bear, 
But since hath disaccustom'd, I began: 
And Beatrice, that a little space 
Was sever'd, smiled; reminding me of her, 
Whose cough embolden'd (as the story holds) 
To first offence the doubting Guenever. 2 
"You are my sire," said I: "you give me heart 
Freely to speak my thought: above myself 
You raise me. Through so many streams with joy 
My soul is fill' d, that gladness \vells from it; 
So that it bears the mighty tide, and bursts not. 
Say then, my honour'd stem! what ancestors 
Were those you sprang from, and what years were mark'd 
In your first childhood? Tell me of the fold,3 
That hath Saint John for guardian, what was then 
Its state, and who in it \vere highest seated!" 


1 "With 
eeting." The Poet, who had 
addressed the spirit, not knowing him to 
be his ancestor, with a plain "Thou," 
now uses more ceremony, and caIls him 
"You," according to a custom of the 
Romans in the latter times of the empire. 


2 Beatrice's smile reminded him of the 
female servant who, by her coughing, 
emboldened Queen Guenever to encour- 
age Lancelot. See Hell, Canto v. 124. 
3 Florence, of which John the Baptist 
was the patron saint. 



CANTO XVI 


353 


PARADISE 
As embers, at the breathing of the \vind, 
Their flame enliven; so that light I saw 
Shine at my blandishments; and, as it grew 
More fair to look on, so with voice more sweet, 
Yet not in this our modern phrase, forthwith 
It answer'd: "From the day,4 when it was said 
'Hail Virgin!' to the throes by which my mother, 
Who now is sainted, lighten'd her of me 
Whom she was heavy with, this fire had come 
Five hundred times and fourscore, to relume 
Its radiance underneath the burning foot 
Of its own lion. They, of whom I sprang, 
And I, had there our birth-place, where the lastS 
Partition of our city first is reach'd 
By him that runs her annual game. Thus much 
Suffice of my forefathers: who they were, 
And whence they hither came, more honourable 
It is to pass in silence than to tell. 
All those, who at that time were there, betwixt 
Mars and the Baptist, fit to carry arms, 
Were but the fifth of them this day alive. 
But then the citizen's blood, that now is mix'd 
From Campi and Certaldo and Fighine,6 
Ran purely through the last mechanic's veins. 
o how much better were it, that these people 7 
Were neighbours to you; and that at Galluzzo 
And at Trespiano ye should have your boundary; 
Than to have them within, and bear the stench 
Of Aguglione's hind, and Signa's,8 him, 
That hath his eye already keen for bartering. 
Had not the people,9 which of all the world 
4 From the incarnation of our Lord to was the last reached by the competitor in 
the birth of Cacciaguida, the planet Mars the annual race at Florence. 
had returned 580 times to the constella- 6 Country places near Florence. 
tion of Leo, with which it is supposed 7 "That the inhabitants of the above- 
to have a congenial influence. As Mars mentioned places had not been mixed 
then completed his revolution in a period with the citizens; nor the limits of 
of forty-three days short of two years, Florence extended beyond Galluzzo and 
Cacciaguida was born about 1090. Trespiano." 
5 The city was divided into four com- 8 Baldo of Aguglione, and Bonifazio 
partments. The Elisei, the ancestors of of Signa. 
Dante, resided near the entrance of that 9 If Rome had continued in her alte- 
named from the Porta S. Piero, which giance to the Emperor, and the Guelfi- 



354 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVI 


Degenerates most, been step dame unto Cæsar, 
But, as a mother to her son, been kind, 
Such one, as hath become a Florentine, 
And trades and traffics, hath been turn'd adrift 
To Simifonte,lO \vhere his grandsire plied 
The beggar's craft: the Conti were possest 
Of Montemurlo ll still: the Cerchi still 
Were in Acone's parish: nor had haply 
From Valdigreve passed the Buondelmonti. 
The city's malady hath ever source 
In the confusion of its persons, as 
The body's, in variety of food: 
And the blind bull falls with a steeper plunge, 
Than the blind lamb: and oftentimes one sword 
Doth more and better execution, 
Than five. Mark Luni; Urbisaglia 12 mark; 
How they are gone; and after them how go 
Chiusi and Sinigaglia Jl3 and 't will seem 
No longer new, or strange to thee, to hear 
That families fail, when cities have their end. 
All things that appertain to ye, like yourselves, 
Are mortal: but mortality in some 
Ye mark not; they endure so long, and you 
Pass by so suddenly. And as the moon 
Doth, by the rolling of her heavenly sphere, 
Hide and reveal the strand unceasingly; 
So fortune deals with Florence. Hence admire not 
At what of them I tell thee, whose renown 
Time covers, the first Florentines. I saw 
The Ughi, Catilini, and Filippi, 
The Alberichi, Greci, and Ormanni, 
Now in their wane, illustrious citizens; 
And great as ancient, of Sannella him, 
With him of Arca saw, and Soldanieri, 


Ghibelline factions had thus been pre- 
vented, Florence would not have been 
polluted by a race of upstarts, nor lost 
her best element. 
10 A castle dismantled by the Floren- 
tines. The person here all uded to is not 
known. 


11 The Conti Guidi, unable to defend 
their castle from the Pistoians, sold it to 
the state of Florence. 
12 Cities formerly of importance, but 
then fallen to decay. 
13 The same. 



CANTO XVI 


355. 


PARADISE 
And Ardinghi, and Bostichi. At the pOOp14 
That now is laden with new felony 
So cumbrous it may speedily sink the bark, 
The Ravignani sat, of whom is sprung 
The County Guido, and whoso hath since 
His title from the famed Bellincion ta' en. 
Fair governance was yet an art well prized 
By him of Pressa: Galigaio show'd 
The gilded hilt and pommel,15 in his house; 
The column, clothed with verrey/6 still was seen 
Unshaken; the Sacchetti still were great, 
Giuochi, Fifanti, Galli, and Barucci, 
With them 17 who blush to hear the bushel named. 
Of the Calfucci still the branchy trunk 
Was in its strength: and, to the curule chairs, 
Sizii and Arrigucci 18 yet were drawn. 
How mighty them 19 I saw, whom, since, their pride 
Hath undone! And in all their goodly deeds 
Florence was, by the bullets of bright gold,2O 
O'erflourish'd. Such the sires of those,21 who now, 
As surely as your church is vacant, flock 
Into her consistory, and at leisure 
There stall them and grow fat. The o'erweening broad,22 
That plays the dragon after him that flees, 
But unto such as turn and show the tooth, 
A y or the purse, is gentle as a lamb, 
Was on its rise, but yet so slight esteem'd ll 
That Ubertino of Donati grudged 
His father-in-law should yoke him to its tribe. 


14 The Cerchi, Dante's enemies, had 
succeeded to the houses over the gate of 
St. Peter. 
15 The symbols of knighthood. 
16 The arms of the Pigli, or as some 
wrote it, the Billi. 
17 Either the Chiaramontesi, or the To- 
singhi; one of which had committed a 
fraud in measuring out the wheat from 
the public granary. See Purgatory, Canto 
xii. 99. 
18 "These families still obtained the 
magistracies. " 
19 "Them." The Uberti. 


20 The arms of the Abbati, or of the 
Lamberti. 
21 Of the Visdomini, the Tosinghi, and 
the Cortigiani, who, being sprung from 
the founders of the bishopric of Florence, 
are the curators of its revenues, which 
they do not spare, whenever it becomes 
vacant. 
22 This family was so little esteemed 
that Ubertino Donato, of the same stock 
as his wife, was offended with his father
 
in-law, Bellincion Berti, for giving an
 
other daughter to one of them. 



35 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
Already Caponsacc0 23 had descended 
Into the mart from Fesole: and Giuda 
And Infangat0 24 were good citizens. 
A thing incredible I tell, though true: 
The gateway, named from those of Pera, led 
Into the narrow circuit of your wells. 
Each one, who bears the sightly quarterings 
Of the great Baron,25 (he whose name and worth 
The festival of Thomas still revives,) 
His knighthood and his privilege retain'd; 
Albeit one,26 who borders them with gold, 
This day is mingled with the common herd. 
In Borgo yet the Gualterotti dwelt, 
And Importuni;27 well for its repose, 
Had it stilllack'd of newer neighbourhood. 28 
The house,29 from whence your tears have had their spring, 
Through the just anger, that hath murder'd ye 
And put a period to your gladsome days, 
Was honour'd; it, and those consorted with it. 
o Buondelmonte! what ill counselling 
Prevail'd on thee to break the plighted bond? 
Many, who now are weeping, would rejoice, 
Had God to Ema 30 given thee, the first time 
Thou near our city earnest. But so was doom'd: 


23 The Caponsacchi, who had removed 
from Fiesole. 
24 Guida Guidi and the family of In- 
fangati. 
25 The Marchese U go, who resided at 
Florence as lieutenant of the Emperor 
Otho III, gave many of the chief families 
license to bear his arms. A vision is re- 
lated, in consequence of which he sold 
all his possessions in Germany, and 
founded seven abbeys, in one whereof his 
memory was celebrated at Florence on 
St. Thomas's day. UThe marquis, when 
hunting, strayed away from his people, 
and, wandering through a forest, came to 
a smithy, where he saw black and de- 
formed men tormenting others with fire 
and hammers; and, asking the meaning 
of this, he was told that they were con- 
demned souls, who suffered this pun- 
ishment, and that the soul of the Mar- 


CANTO XVI 


chese U go was doomed to suffer the same, 
if he did not repent. Struck with horror, 
he commended himself to the Virgin 
Mary; and soon after founded the seven 
religious houses." 
26 Giano della Bella, of one of the 
families thus distinguished, who no longer 
retained his place among the nobility, 
and had yet added to his arms a bordure 
or. 
27 Two families in the compartment of 
the city called Borgo. 
28 Some understand this of the Bardij 
and others, of the Buondelmonti. 
29 "The house." Of Amidei. 
30 "To Ema." UI t had been well for 
the city if thy ancestor had been drowned 
in the Ema when he crossed that stream 
on his way from Montebuono to Flo- 
rence. " 



CANTO XVII 


PARADISE 


357 


Florence! on that maim'd stone 31 which guards the bridge 
The victim, when thy peace departed, fell. 
"With these and others like to them, I saw 
Florence in such assured tranquillity, 
She had no cause at which to grieve: with these 
Saw her so glorious and so just, that ne'er 
The lily32 from the lance had hung reverse, 
Or through division been with v
rmeil dyed." 


CANTO XVII 


ARGUMENT.-Cacciaguida predicts to our Poet his exile and the calamities he had 
to infer; and, lastly, exhorts him to write the present poem. 
S UCH as the youth,1 who came to Clymene, 
To certify himself of that reproach 
Which had been fasten'd on him, (he whose end, 
Still makes the fathers chary to their sons), 
E'en such was I; nor unobserved was such 
Of Beatrice, and that saintly lamp,2 
Who had erewhile for me his station moved; 
When thus my lady: "Give thy wish free vent, 
That it may issue, bearing true report 
Of the mind's impress: not that aught thy words 
May to our knowledge add, but to the end 
That thou mayst use thyself to own thy thirst,3 
And men may mingle for thee when they hear." 
"0 plant, from whence I spring! revered and loved! 
Who soar'st so high a pitch, that thou as dear,4 
As earthly thought determines two obtuse 
In one triangle not contain'd, so clear 
Dost see contingencies, ere in themselves 
Existent, looking at the pointS whereto 
31 Near the remains of the statue of Clymene, to inquire if he were indeed the 
Mars, Buondelmonti was slain, as if he son of Apollo. 
had been a \"ictim to the god; and 2 Cacciaguida. 
Florence had not since known the blessing 3 "That thou mayst obtain from others 
of peace. a solution of any doubt that may occur 
32 The arms of Florence had never to thee." 
hung reversed on the spear of her en- 4 "Thou beholdest future events with 
emies; nor been changed from argent to the same clearness of evidence that we 
gules; as they afterward were, when the discern the simplest mathematical demon- 
Gue1fi. gained the predominance. strations." 
1 Phaëton, who came to his mother 5 The divine nature. 



35 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
All times are present; I, the whilst I scaled 
With Virgil the soul-purifying mount 
And visited the nether world of woe, 
Touching my future destiny have heard 
Words grievous, though I feel me on all sides 
Well squared to fortune's blows. Therefore my will 
Were satisfied to know the lot awaits me; 
The arrow, seen beforehand, slacks his flight." 
So said I to the brightness, which erewhile 
To me had spoken; and my will declared, 
As Beatrice \vill'd, eXplicitly. 
Nor with oracular response obscure, 
Such as, or e'er the Lamb of God was slain, 
Beguiled the credulous nations: but, in terms 
Precise, and unambiguous lore, replied 
The spirit of paternal love, enshrined, 
Yet in his smile apparent; and thus spake: 
"Contingency,6 whose verge extendeth not 
Beyond the tablet of your mortal mold, 
Is all depictured in the eternal sight; 
But hence deriveth not necessity,7 
More than the tall ship, hurried down the flood, 
Is driven by the eye that looks on it. 
From thence,8 as to the ear sweet harmony 
From organ comes, so comes before mine eye 
The time prepared for thee. Such as driven out 
From Athens, by his cruel stepdame's9 wiles, 
Hippolytus departed; such must thou 
Depart from Florence. This they wish, and this 
Contrive, and will ere long effectuate, there,lO 
Where gainful merchandize is made of Christ 
Throughout the live-long day. The common cry,U 
Will, as 'tis ever wont, affix the blame 


6 "Contingency." Contingency, which 
has no place beyond the limits of the 
material world. 
1 "The evidence with which we see 
casual events portrayed in the source of 
all truth, no more necessitates those 
events, than does the image, reflected in 
the sight by a ship sailing down a stream, 
necessitate the motion of the vessel." 


CANTO XVII 


8 From the view of the Deity Himself. 
9 Phædra. 
10 "There." At Rome, where the ex- 
pulsion of Dante's party from Florence 
was then plotting, in 1300. 
11 The multitude will, as usual, be ready 
to blame those who are sufferers, whose 
cause will at last be vindicated by the 
overthrow of their enemies. 



CANTO XVII 


PARADISE 


359 


Unto the party injured: but the truth 
Shall, in the vengeance it dispenseth, find 
A faithful witness. Thou shalt leave each thing 
Beloved most dearly: this is the first shaft 
Shot from the bow of exile. Thou shalt prove 
How salt the sa vour is of other's bread; 
How hard the passage, to descend and climb 
By other's stairs. But that shall gall thee most, 
Will be the worthless and vile company, 
With whom thou must be thrown into these straits. 
For all ungrateful, impious all, and mad, 
Shall turn 'gainst thee: but in a little while, 
Theirs,12 and not thine, shall be the crimson'd brow. 
Their course shall so evince their brutishness, 
To have ta'en thy stand apart shall well become thee. 
"First refuge thou must find, first place of rest, 
In the great Lombard'sl3 courtesy, who bears, 
Upon the ladder perch'd, the sacred bird. 
He shall behold thee with such kind regard, 
That 'twixt ye two, the contrary to that 
Which 'falls 'twixt other men, the granting shall 
Forerun the asking. With him shalt thou see 
That mortal,14 who was at his birth imprest 
So strongly from this star, that of his deeds 
The nations shall take note. His unripe age 
Yet holds him from observance; for these wheels 
Only nine years have compasst him about. 
But, ere the Gascon 1S practise on great Harry,16 
Sparkles of virtue shall shoot forth in him, 
In equal scorn of labours and of gold 
His bounty shall be spread abroad so widely, 
As not to let the tongues, e'en of his foes, 
Be idle in its praise. Look thou to him, 
And his beneficence: for he shall cause 
Reversal of their lot to many people; 


12 "They shall be ashamed of the part 
they have taken against thee." 
13 Either Bartolommeo della Scala or 
Alboino his brother. Their coat-of-arms 
was a ladder and an eagle. 
14 "That mortal." Can Grande della 


Scala, born under the influence of Mars. 
but at this time only nine years old. He 
was a son of Alberto della Scala. 
15 "The Gascon." Pope Clement V. 
16 The Emperor Henry VII. 



3 60 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVII 


Rich men and beggars interchanging fortunes. 
And thou shalt bear this written in thy soul, 
Of him, but tell it not:" and things he told 
Incredible to those who witness them; 
Then added: "So interpret thou, my son, 
What hath been told thee.-Lo! the ambushment 
That a few circling seasons hide for thee. 
Yet envy not thy neighbours: time extends 
Thy span beyond their treason's chastisement." 
Soon as the saintly spirit, by silence, mark'd 
Completion of that web, which I had stretch'd 
Before it, warp'd for weaving; I began, 
As one, who in perplexity desires 
Counsel of other, wise, benign and friendly: 
"M y father! well I mark how time spurs on 
Toward me, ready to inflict the blow, 
Which falls most heavily on him who most 
Abandoneth himself. Therefore 'tis good 
I should forecast, that, driven from the place 17 
Most dear to me, I may not lose myself 18 
All other by my song. Down through the world 
Of infinite mourning; and along the mount, 
From whose fair height my lady's eyes did lift me; 
And, after, through this Heaven, from light to 
light; 
Have I learnt that, which if I tell again, 
It may with many wofully disrelish: 
And, if I am a timid friend to truth, 
I fear my life may perish among those, 
To whom these days shall be of ancient date." 
The brightness, where enclosed the treasure 19 slniled, 
Which I had found there, first shone glisteringly, 
Like to a golden mirror in the sun; 
Next answer'd: "Conscience, dimm'd or by its own 
Or other's shame, will feel thy saying sharp. 
Thou, notwithstanding, all deceit removed, 


17 liThe place." Our poet here dis- 
covers both that Florence, much as he in- 
veighs against it, was still the dearest ob- 
ject of his affections, and that it was not 
without some scruple he indulged his sa- 
tirical vein. 


18 11 That being driven out of my coun- 
try, I may not deprive myself of every 
other place by the boldness with which 
I expose in my writings the vices of man- 
kind. " 
19 "The treasure." Cacciaguida. 



CANTO XVIII 


PARADISE 


3 61 


See the whole vision be made manifest; 
And let them wince, who have their withers wrung. 
What though, when tasted first, thy voice shall prove 
Un\velcome: on digestion, it will turn 
To vital nourishment. The cry thou raisest, 
Shall, as the wind doth, smite the proudest summits; 
Which is of honour no light argument. 
For this, there only have been shown to thee, 
Throughout these orbs, the mountain, and the deep, 
Spirits, whom fame hath note of. For the mind 
Of him, who hears, is loth to acquiesce 
And fix its faith, unless the instance brought 
Be palpable, and proof apparent urge." 


CANTO XVIII 


ARGUMENT.-Ðante sees the souls of many renowned warriors and crusaders in the 
planet Mars; and then ascends with Beatrice to Jupiter, the sixth heaven, in which he 
finds the souls of those who had administered justice rightly in the world, so disposed. 
as to form the figure of an eagle. The Canto concludes with an invective against 
the avarice of the clergy, and especially of the pope. 


N OW in his word, sole, ruminating, joy'd 
That blessed spirit: and I fed on mine, 
Tempering the sweet with bitter. She mean- 
while, 
Who led me unto God, admonish'd: "Muse 
On other thoughts: bethink thee, that near Him 
I dwell, who recompenseth every wrong." 
At the sweet sounds of comfort straight I turn'd; 
And, in the saintly eyes what love was seen, 
I leave in silence here, nor through distrust 
Of my words only, but that to such bliss 
The mind remounts not without aid. Thus much 
Yet may I speak; that, as I gazed on her, 
Affection found no room for other wish. 
While the everlasting pleasure, that did full 
On Beatrice shine, with second view 
From her fair countenance my gladden'd soul 
Contented; vanquishing me with a beam 
Of her soft smile, she spake: "Turn thee, and list. 
These eyes are not thy only Paradise." 
As here, we sometimes in the looks may see 



3 62 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVIII 


The affection mark'd, \vhen that its sway hath ta'en 
The spirit wholly; thus the hallow'd light,t 
To \vhom I turn'd, flashing, bewray'd its v!Ìll 
To talk yet further with me, and began: 
"On this fifth lodgment of the tree, 2 whose life 
Is from its top, whose fruit is ever fair 
And leaf unwithering, blessed spirits abide, 
That were below, ere they arrived in Heaven, 
So mighty in renown, as every muse 
Might grace her triumph with them. On the horns 
Look, theFefoce, of the cross: he whom I name, 
Shall there enact, as doth in summer cloud 
Its nimble fire." Along the cross I saw, 
At the repeated name of Joshua, 
A splendour gliding; nor, the word was said, 
Ere it was done: then, at the naming, saw, 
Of the great Maccabee/ another move 
With whirling speed; and gladness was the scourge 
Unto that top. The next for Charlemain 
And for the peer Orlando, two my gaze 
Pursued, intend y, as the eye pursues 
A falcon flying. Last, along the cross, 
William, and Renard,4 and Duke Godf rey 5 drew 
My ken, and Robert Guiscard. 6 And the soul 
Who spake with me, among the other lights 
Did move away, and mix; and with the quire 
Of heavenly songsters proved his tuneful skill. 
To Beatrice on my right I bent, 
Looking for intimation, or by word 
Or act, \vhat next behoved; and did descry 
Such mere effulgence in her eyes, such joy, 
It pass'd all former wont. And, as by sense 
Of new delight, the man, who perseveres 
In good deeds, doth perceive, from day to day, 
the spirit of Cacciaguida the age of Charlemain. The former, 
William I of Orange, supposed to have 
been the founder of the present illustrious 
family of that name, died about 808. The 
latter has been celebrated by Ariosto, 
under the name of Rinaldo. 
5 Godfrey of Bouillon. 
6 See Hell, Canto xxviii. 12. 


1 In which 
was enclosed. 
2 Mars, the fifth of the heavens. 
3 Judas Maccabæus. 
4 Probably not William II of Orange, 
and his kinsman Raimbaud, two of the 
crusaders under Godfrey of Bouillon, but 
rather the two more celebrated heroes in 



CANTO XVIII 


PARADISE 


His virtue growing; I e'en thus perceived, 
Of my ascent, together with the Heaven, 
The circuit widen'd; noting the increase 
Of beauty in that wonder. Like the change 
In a brief moment on some maiden's cheek, 
Which, from its fairness, doth discharge the weight 
Of pudency, that stain'd it; such in her, 
And to mine eyes so sudden was the change, 
Through silvery whiteness of that temperate star, 
Whose sixth orb now enfolded us. I saw, 
Within that Jovial cresset, the clear sparks 
Of love, that reign'd there, fashion to my view 
Our language. And as birds, from river banks 
Arisen, now in round, now lengthen'd troop, 
Array them in their flight, greeting, as seems, 
Their new-found pastures; so, within the lights, 
The saintly creatures flying, sang; and made 
Now D, now I, now L, figured i' the air. 
First singing to their notes they moved; then, one 
Becoming of these signs, a little while 
Did rest them, and were mute. a nymph divine 
Of Pegasean race! who souls, which thou 
Inspirest, makest glorious and long-lived, as they 
Cities and realms by thee; thou with thyself 
Inform me; that I may set forth the shapes, 
As fancy doth present them: be thy power 
Display'd in this brief song. The characters, 
\' ocal and consonant, were five-fold seven. 
In order, each, as they appear'd, I mark'd. 
Diligite Justitiam, the first, 
Both verb and noun all blazon'd; and the extreme, 
Qui judicatis ten"am. In the M 
Of the fifth word they held their station; 
Making the star seem silver streak'd with gold. 
And on the summit of the M, I saw 
Descending other lights, that rested there, 
Singing, methinks, their bliss and primal good. 
Then, as at shaking of a lighted brand, 
Sparkles innumerable on all sides 
Rise scatter'd, source of augury to the unwise; 


3 6 3 



3 6 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XVIII 


Thus more than thousand twinkling lustres hence 
Seem'd reascending; and a higher pitch 
Some mounting, and some less, e'en as the sun, 
Which kindleth them, decreed. And when each one 
Had settled in his place; the head and neck 
Then saw I of an eagle, livelily 
Graved in that streaky fire. Who painteth there,7 
Hath none to guide Him: of Himself He guides: 
And every line and texture of the nest 
Doth own from Him the virtue fashions it. 
The other bright beatitude,8 that seem'd 
Ere\vhile, with lilied crowning, well content 
To over-canopy the M, moved forth, 
Following gently the impress of the bird. 
Sweet star; what glorious and thick-studded gems 
Declared to me our justice on the earth 
To be the effluence of that Heaven, which thou, 
Thyself a costly jewel, dost inlay. 
Therefore I pray the Sovran Mind, from whom 
Thy motion and thy virtue are begun, 
That He would look from whence the fog doth rise, 
To vitiate thy beam; so that once more 9 
He may put forth his hand ' gainst such, as drive 
Their traffic in that sanctuary, whose walls 
With miracles and martyrdoms were built. 
Ye host of Heaven, whose glory I survey! 
o beg ye grace for those, that are, on earth, 
All after ill example gone astray. 
War once had for his instrument the sword: 
But no\v 'tis made, taking the bread away,lO 
Which the good Father locks from none.-And thou, 
That writest but to cancel,l1 think, that they, 
Who for the vineyard, which thou wastest, died, 
Peter and Paul, live yet, and mark thy doings. 


7 "Who painteth there." The Deity 
himself. 
8 The band of spirits. 
9 That he may again drive out those 
who buy and sell in the temple. 
10 "Taking the bread away." Excom- 
munication, or interdiction of the Eucha- 


rist, is now employed as a weapon of war- 
fare. 
H "That writest but to cancel." "And 
thou, Pope Boniface, who writest thy 
ecclesiastical censures for no other pur- 
pose than to be paid for revoking them." 



CANTO XIX 


PARADISE 


3 6 5 


Thou hast good cause to cry, "My heart so cleaves 
To him/ 2 that lived in solitude remote, 
And for a dance was dragg'd to martyrdom, 
I wist not of the Fisherman nor Paul." 


CANTO XIX 


ARGUMENT.-The eagle speaks as with one voice proceeding from a multitude of 
spirits, that compose it; and declares the cause for which it is exalted to that state of 
glory. It then solves a doubt, which our Poet had entertained, respecting the pos- 
sibility of salvation without belief in Christ; exposes the inefficacy of a mere profession 
of such belief; and prophesies the evil appearance that many Christian potentates will 
make at the da}' of judgment. 


B EFORE my sight appear'd, with open wings, 
The beauteous image; in fruition sweet, 
Gladdening the thronged spirits. Each did seem 
A little ruby, whereon so intense 
The sun-beam glow'd, that to mine eyes it came 
In clear refraction. And that, which next 
Befalls me to portray, voice hath not utter'd, 
Nor hath ink written, nor in fantasy 
Was e'er conceived. For I beheld and heard 
The beak discourse; and, what intention form'd 
Of many, singly as of one express, 
Beginning: "For that I was just and piteous, 
I am exalted to this height of glory, 
The which no wish exceeds: and there on earth 
Have I my memory left, e'en by the bad 
Commended, while they leave its course untrod." 
Thus is one heat from many embers felt; 
As in that image many were the loves, 
And one the voice, that issued from them all: 
Whence I address'd them: "0 perennial flowers 
Of gladness everlasting! that exhale 
In single breath your odours manifold; 
Breathe now: and let the hunger be appeased, 
That with great craving long hath held my soul, 
Finding no food on earth. This well I know; 


12 uTo him." The coin of Florence 
was stamped with the impression of John 
the Baptist; and, for this, the avaricious 


Pope is made to declare that he felt more 
devotion, than either for Peter or Paul. 



3 66 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIX 


That if there be in Heaven a realm, that shows 
In faithful mirror the celestial Justice, 
Yours without veil reflects it. Ye discern 
The heed, wherewith I do prepare myself 
To hearken; ye, the doubt, that urges me 
With such inveterate craving." Straight I saw, 
Like to a falcon issuing from the hood, 
That rears his head, and claps him with his wings, 
His beauty and his eagerness bewraying; 
So saw I move that stately sign, with praise 
Of grace divine inwoven, and high song 
Of inexpressive joy. "He," it began, 
"Who turn'd His compass on the world's extreme, 
And in that space so variously hath wrought, 
Both openly and in secret; in such wise 
Could not, through all the universe, display 
Impression of His glory, that the Word 
Of His omniscience should not still remain 
In infinite excess. In proof whereof, 
He first through pride supplanted, who was sum 
Of each created being, waited not 
For light celestial; and abortive fell. 
Whence needs each lesser nature is but scant 
Receptacle unto that Good, which kno\vs 
No limit, measured by itself alone. 
Therefore your sight, of the omnipresent Mind 
A single beam, its origin must own 
Surpassing far its utmost potency. 
The ken, your world is gifted with, descends 
In the everlasting Justice as low down, 
As eye doth in the sea; which, though it mark 
The bottom from the shore, in the wide main 
Discerns it not; and ne'ertheless it is; 
But hidden through its deepness. Light is none, 
Save that which cometh from the pure serene 
Of ne'er disturbed ether: for the rest, 
'Tis darkness all; or shadow of the flesh, 
Or else its poison. Here confess reveal'd 
That covert, which hath hidden from thy search 
The living justice, of the which thou madest 



CANTO XIX 


PARADISE 


3 6 7 


Such frequent question; for thou said'st-'A man 
Is born on Indus' banks, and none is there 
Who speaks of Christ, nor who doth read nor write; 
And all his inclinations and his acts, 
As far as human reason sees, are good; 
And he offendeth not in word or deed: 
But unbaptized he dies, and void of faith. 
Where is the justice that condemns him? where 
His blame, if he believeth not ? '-What then, 
And who art thou, that on the stool wouldst sit 
To judge at distance of a thousand miles 
With the short-sighted vision of a span? 
To him, \vho subtilizes thus with me, 
There would assuredly be room for doubt 
Even to wonder, did not the safe word 
Of Scripture hold supreme authority. 
"0 animals of clay! 0 spirits gross! 
The Primal Will, l that in itself is good, 
Hath from itself, the chief Good, ne'er been moved. 
Justice consists in consonance 'with it, 
Derivable by no created good, 
Whose very cause depends upon its beam." 
As on her nest the stork, that turns about 
Unto her young, \vhom lately she hath fed, 
Whiles they \vith up,vard eyes do look on her; 
So lifted I my gaze; and, bending so, 
The ever-blessed image waved its wings, 
Labouring with such deep counsel. Wheeling round 
It warbled, and did say: "As are my notes 
To thee, who understand'st them not; such is 
The eternal judgment unto mortal ken." 
Then still abiding in that ensign ranged, 
Wherewith the Romans overawed the world, 
Those burning splendours of the Holy Spirit 
Took up the strain; and thus it spake again: 
"None ever hath ascended to this realm, 
Who hath not a believer been in Christ, 
Either before or after the blest limbs 
Were nail'd upon the wood. But lot of those 
1 The divine will. 



3 68 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XIX 


Who call 'Christ, Christ,' 2 there shall be many found, 
In judgment, further off from Him by far, 
Than such to whom His name was never known. 
Christians like these the Æthiop3 shall condemn: 
When that the two assemblages shall part; 
One rich eternally, the other poor. 
"What may the Persians say unto your kings, 
When they shall see that volume,4 in the which 
All their dispraise is written, spread to view? 
There amidst Albert's5 works shall that be read, 
Which will give speedy motion to the pen, 
When Prague 6 shall mourn her desolated realm. 
There shall be read the woe, that he 7 doth work 
With his adulterate money on the Seine, 
Who by the tusk will perish; there be read 
The thirsting pride, that maketh fool alike 
The English and Scot,8 impatient of their bound. 
There shall be seen the Spaniard's luxury;9 
The delicate living there of the Bohemian,lO 
Who still to worth has been a willing stranger. 
The halter of Jerusalem 11 shall see 
A unit for his virtue; for his vices, 
No less a mark than million. He/ 2 who guards 


2 "Not everyone that saith unto me, 
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom 
of heaven."-Matt. vii. 21. 
3 "The Æthiop." "The men ot Nineveh 
shall rise in judgment with this genera- 
tion, and shall condemn it."-Matt. xii. 
41. 
4 "That volume." "And I saw the dead, 
small and great, stand before God; and 
the books were opened: and another book 
was opened, which is the book of life; 
and the dead were judged out of those 
things which were written in the books, 
according to their works."-Rev. xx. 12. 
5 "Albert." Purgatory, Canto vi. 98. 
6 "Prague." The cagle predicts the dev- 
astation of Bohemia by Albert, which 
happened soon after this time, when that 
Em peror obtained the kingdom for his 
eldest son Rodolph. 
7 "He." Philip IV of France, after the 
battle of Courtrai, 1302, in which the 
French were defeated by the Flemings, 


raised the nominal value of the coin. 
This King died in consequence of his 
horse being thrown to the ground by a 
wild boar, in 1314. 
8 "The English and Scot." He adverts 
to the disputes between John Baliol and 
Edward I, the latter of whom is com- 
mended in the Purgatory, Canto vii. 130. 
9 "The Spaniard's luxury." It seems 
probable that the allusion is to Ferdinand 
IV, who came to the crown in 1295, and 
died in 1312, at the age of twenty-four, in 
consequence, as it was supposed, of his 
extreme intemperance. 
10 "The Bohemian." Wenceslaus II. 
Purgatory, Canto vii. 99. 
11 "The halter of Jerusalem." Charles 
II of Naples and Jerusalem, who was 
lame. 
12 "He." Frederick of Sicily, son of 
Peter III of Arragon. Purgatory, Canto 
vii. 117. The isle of fire is Sicily, where 
was the tomb of Anchises. 



CANTO XIX 


3 6 9 


PARADISE 
The isle of fire by old Anchises honour'd, 
Shall find his avarice there and cowardice; 
And better to denote his littleness, 
The writing must be letters maim'd, that speak 
Much in a narrow space. All there shall know 
His uncle 13 and his brother's 14 filthy doings, 
Who so renown'd a nation and two crowns 
Have bastardized. And they, of PortugaP5 
And Norway, 16 there shall be exposed, with him 
Of Ratza,17 who hath counterfeited ill 
The coin of Venice. 0 blest Hungary!18 
If thou no longer patiently abidest 
Thy ill-entreating: and, 0 blest Navarrep9 
If with thy mountainous girdle 20 thou wouldst arm thee. 
In earnest of that day, e'en now are heard 
Wailings and groans in Famagosta's streets 
And Nicosia's,21 grudging at their beast, 
Who keepeth even footing with the rest." 


13 "His uncle." James, King of Majorca 
and Minorca, brother to Peter III. 
14 "His brother." James II of Arragon, 
who died in 1327. See Purgatory, Canto 
vii. 117. 
15 "Of Portugal." In the time of Dante, 
Dionysius was King of Portugal. He 
died in 1325, after a reign of nearly 
forty-six years, and does not seem to 
have deserved the stigma here fastened 
on him. Perhaps the rebellious son of 
Dionysius may be alluded to. 
16 "Norway." Haquin, King of Nor- 
way, is probably meant; who having 
given refuge to the murderers of Eric 
VII, King of Denmark, A. D. 1288, com- 
menced a war against his successor, Eric 
VIII, . "which continued for nine years, 
almost to the utter ruin and destruction 
of both kingdoms." 
17 "-him 
Of Ratza. It 
One of the dynasty of the house of Ne- 
magna, which ruled the Kingdom of 
Rassia or Ratza, in Sclavonia, from 1161 


to 1371, and whose history may be found 
in Mauro Orbino. Uladislaus appears to 
have been the sovereign in Dante's time; 
but the disgraceful forgery, adverted to 
in the text, is not recorded by the his- 
torian. 
18 "Hungary." The kingdom of Hun- 
gary was about this time disputed by 
Carobert, son of Charles Martel, and 
Wenceslaus, prince of Bohemia, son of 
Wenceslaus II. 
19 "Navarre." Navarre was now under 
the yoke of France. It soon after (in 
13 28 ) followed the advice of Dante, and 
had a monarch of its own. 
20 "Mountainous girdle." The Pyrenees. 
21 " - Famagosta's streets 
And Nicosia's." 
Cities in the Kingdom of Cyprus, at that 
time ruled by Henry VII, a pusillanimous 
prince. The meaning appears to be, that 
the complaints made by those cities of 
their weak and worthless governor may 
be regarded as an earnest of his condem- 
nation at the last doom. 



37 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XX 


CANTO XX 


ARGUMENT.- The eagle celebrates the praise of certain kings, whose glorified spirits 
form the eye of the bird. In the pupil is David; and, in the circle round it, Trajan, 
Hezekiah, Constantine, William II of Sicily, and Ripheus. It explains to our Poet 
how the souls of those whom he supposed to have had no means of believing in 
Christ, came to be in Heaven; and concludes with an admonition against presuming 
to fathom the counsels of God. 


W HEN, disappearing from our hemisphere, 
The world's enlightener vanishes, and day 
On all sides wasteth; suddenly the sky, 
Erewhile irradiate only with his beam, 
Is yet again unfolded, putting forth 
Innumerable lights wherein one shines. 
Of such vicissitude in Heaven I thought; 
As the great sign, 1 that marshaleth the world 
And the world's leaders, in the blessed beak 
Was silent: for that all those living lights, 
Waxing in splendour, burst forth into songs, 
Such as from memory glide and fall away. 
Sweet Love, that doth apparel thee in smiles! 
How lustrous was thy semblance in those sparkles, 
Which merely are from holy thoughts inspired. 
After 2 the precious and bright beaming stones, 
That did ingem the sixth light, ceased the chiming 
Of their angelic bells; methought I heard 
The murmuring of a river, that doth fall 
From rock to rock transpicuous, making known 
The richness of his spring-head: and as sound 
Of cittern, at the fret-board, or of pipe, 
Is, at the wind-hole, modulate and tuned; 
Thus up the neck, as it were hollow, rose 
That murmuring of the eagle; and forthwith 
Voice there assumed; and thence along the beak 
Issued in form of words, such as my heart 
Did look for, on whose tables I inscribed them. 
"The part in me, that sees and bears the sun 
In mortal eagles," it began, "must now 


1 The eagle, the imperial ensign. 
2 "After." "After the spirits in the 


sixth planet (Jupiter) had ceased their 
singing." 



CANTO XX 


37 1 


PARADISE 
Be noted steadfastly: for, of the fires 
That figure me, those, glittering in mine eye, 
Are chief of all the greatest. This, that shines 
Midmost for pupil, was the same wh0 3 sang 
The Holy Spirit's song, and bare about 
The ark from town to town: now doth he know 
The merit of his soul-impassion'd strains 
By their well-fitted guerdon. Of the five, 
That make the circle of the vision, he, 4 
Who to the beak is nearest, comforted 
The widow for her son: now doth he know, 
How dear it costeth not to follow Christ; 
Both from experience of this pleasant life, 
And of its opposite. He next,5 who follows 
In the circumference, for the over-arch, 
By true repenting slack'd the pace of death: 
Now knoweth he, that the decrees of Heaven 6 
Alter not, when, through pious prayer below, 
To-day is made to-morrow's destiny. 
The other following,7 with the laws and me, 
To yield the Shepherd room, pass'd 0'er 8 to Greece; 
From good intent, producing evil fruit: 
Now knoweth he, how all the ill, derived 
From his well doing, doth not harm him aught; 
Though it have brought destruction on the world. 
That, which thou seest in the under bow, 
Was William,9 whom that land bewails, which weeps 
For Charles and Frederick living: now he knows, 
How well is loved in Heaven the righteous king; 
Which he betokens by his radiant seeming. 
Who, in the erring world beneath, would deem 


3 "Who." David. 
4 Trajan. See Purgatory, x. 68. 
5 "He next." Hezekiah. 
6 The eternal counsels of God are in- 
deed immutable, though they appear to 
u
 men to be altered by the prayers of the 
pIOUS. 
7 Constantine. No passage in which 
Dante's opinion of the evil that had arisen 
from the mixture of the civil with the 
ecclesiastical power is more unequivocally 
declared. 


8 Left the Roman State to the Pope, 
and transferred the seat of the empire 
to Constantinople. 
9 William II, called "the Good," King 
of Sicily, at the latter part of the twelfth 
century. He was of the Norman line of 
sovereigns. His loss was as much the 
subject of regret in his dominions, as the 
presence of Charles II of Anjou, and 
Frederick of Arragon, was of sorrow. 



37 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XX 


That Trojan Ripheus,lO in this round, was set, 
Fifth of the saintly splendours? now he knows 
Enough of that, which the world cannot see; 
The grace divine: albeit e'en his sight 
Reach not its utmost depth." Like to the lark, 
That warbling in the air expatiates long, 
Then, trilling out his last sweet melody, 
Drops, satiate with the sweetness; such appear'd 
That image, stampt by the everlasting pleasure, 
Which fashions, as they are, all things that be. 
I, though my doubting were as manifest, 
As is through glass the hue that mantles it, 
In silence waited not; for to my lips 
"What things are these?" involuntary rush'd, 
And forced a passage out: whereat I mark'd 
A sudden lightening and new revelry. 
The eye was kindled; and the blessed sign, 
No more to keep me wondering and suspense, 
Replied: "I see that thou believest these things, 
Because I tell them, but discern'st not how; 
So that thy knowledge waits not on thy faith: 
As one, who knows the name of thing by rote, 
But is a stranger to its properties, 
Till other's tongue reveal them. Fervent love, 
And lively hope, with violence assail 
The Kingdom of the Heavens, and overcome 
The will of the Most High; not in such sort 
As man prevails o'er man; but conquers it, 
Because 'tis willing to be conquer'd; still, 
Though conquer'd, by its mercy, conquering. 
"Those, in the eye who live the first and fifth, 
Cause thee to marvel, in that thou behold'st 
The region of the Angels deck'd with them. 
They quitted not their bodies, as thou deem'st, 
Gentiles, but Christians; in firm rooted faith, 
This,11 of the feet in future to be pierced, 
That,t2 of feet nail'd already to the Cross. 


10 "Then Ripheus feU, the justest far of 
all the sons of Troy."-Virgil, Æneid. 
lib. ii. 427. 


11 "This." Ripheus. 
12 "That." Trajan. 



CANTO XX 


PARADISE 


373 


One from the barrier of the dark abyss, 
Where never any with good will returns, 
Came back unto his bones. Of lively hope 
Such was the meed; of lively hope, that wing'd 
The prayers 13 sent up to God for his release, 
And put power into them to bend his will. 
The glorious Spirit, of whom I speak to thee; 
A little while returning to the flesh, 
Believed in Him, who had the means to help; 
And, in believing, nourish'd such a flame 
Of holy love, that at the second death 
He was made sharer in our gamesome mirth. 
The other, through the riches of that grace, 
\Vhich from so deep a fountain doth distil, 
As never eye created sa",. its rising, 
Placed all his love below on just and right: 
Wherefore, of grace, God oped in him the eye 
To the redemption of mankind to come; 
Wherein believing, he endured no more 
The filth of Paganism, and for their ways 
Rebuked the stubborn nations. The three nymphs,14 
Whom at the right wheel thou beheld'st advancing, 
Were sponsors for him, more than thousand years 
Before baptizing. 0 how far removed, 
Predestination! is thy root from such 
As see not the First Cause entire: and ye, 
o mortal men! be wary how ye judge: 
For we, who see our Maker, know not yet 
The number of the chosen; and esteem 
Such scantiness of knowledge our delight: 
F or all our good is, in that Primal Good, 
Concentrate; and God's will and ours are one." 
So, by that form divine, was given to me 
Sweet medicine to clear and strengthen sight. 
And, as one handling skilfull y the harp, 
Attendant on some skilful songster's voice 
Bids the chord vibrate; and therein the song 
Acquires more pleasure: so the whilst it spake. 


13 The prayers of St. Gregory. 


14 "The three nymphs." Faith, Hope, 
and Charity. Purgatory, Canto xxix. 116. 



374 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 
It doth remember me, that I beheld 
The pair 15 of blessed luminaries move, 
Like the accordant twinkling of two eyes, 
Their beamy circlets, dancing to the sounds. 


CANTO XXI 


CANTO XXI 


ARGUMENT.-Ðante ascends with Beatrice to the seventh heaven, which is the 
planet Saturn; wherein is placed a ladder, so lofty, that the top of it is out of his sight. 
Here are the souls of those who had passed their life in holy retirement and con- 
templation. Piero Damiano comes near them, and answers questions put to him by 
Dante; then declares who he was on earth; and ends by declaiming against the 
luxury of pastors and prelates in those times. 
fÏ AIN mine eyes were fix'd on Beatrice; 
And, with mine eyes, my soul that in her looks 
Found all contentment. Yet no smile she wore: 
And, "Did I smile," quoth she, "thou wouldst be straight 
Like Semele when into ashes turn'd; 
For, mounting these eternal palace-stairs, 
My beauty, which the loftier it climbs, 
As thou hast noted, still doth kindle more, 
So shines, that, were no tempering interposed, 
Thy mortal puissance would from its rays 
Shrink, as the leaf doth from the thunderbolt. 
Into the seventh splendour 1 are we wafted, 
That, underneath the burning lion's breast,2 
Beams, in this hour, commingled with his might. 
Thy mind be with thine eyes; and, in them, mirror'd 3 
The shape, which in this mirror shall be shown." 
Whoso can deem, how fondly I had fed 
My sight upon her blissful countenance, 
May know, when to new thoughts I changed, what joy 
To do the bidding of my heavenly guide; 
In equal balance,4 poising either weight. 
Within the crystal, which records the name 
(As its remoter circle girds the world) 
15 Ripheus and Trajan. Saturn (soon after, v. 22, called the 
1 The planet Saturn. crystal), "be reflected in the mirror of 
2 The constellation Leo. thy sight." 
3 "In them, mirror'd." "Let the 4 "My pleasure was as great in com- 
form which thou shalt now behold in plying with her will, as in beholding 
this mirror," the planet, that is, of her countenance." 



CANTO XXI 


PARADISE 


375 


Of that loved monarch,s in whose happy reign 
No ill had power to harm, I saw rear'd up, 
In colour like to sun-illumined gold, 
A ladder, which my ken pursued in vain, 
So lofty was the summit; down whose steps 
I saw the splendours in such multitude 
Descending, every light in Heaven, methought, 
Was shed thence. As the rooks, at dawn of day, 
Bestirring them to dry their feathers chill, 
Some speed their way a-field; and homeward some, 
Returning, cross their flight; while some abide, 
And wheel around their airy lodge: so seem'd 
That glitterance,6 wafted on alternate wing, 
As upon certain stair it came, and clash'd 
Its shining. And one, lingering near us, wax'd 
So bright, that in my thought I said: "The love, 
Which this betokens me, admits no doubt." 
Unwillingly from question I refrain; 
To her, by whom my silence and my speech 
Are order'd, looking for a sign: whence she, 
Who in the sight of Him, that seeth all, 
Saw wherefore I was silent, prompted me 
To indulge the fervent wish; and I began: 
"I am 
ot worthy, of my own desert, 
That thou shouldst answer me: but for her sake, 
Who hath vouchsafed my asking, spirit blest, 
That in thy joy art shrouded! say the cause, 
Which bringeth thee so near: and wherefore, say, 
Doth the sweet symphony of Paradise 
K_eep silence here, pervading with such sounds 
Of rapt devotion every lower sphere?" 
"Mortal art thou in hearing, as in sight;" 
Was the reply: "and what forbade the smile 7 
Of Beatrice interrupts our song. 
Only to yield thee gladness of my voice, 
And of the light that vests me, I thus far 
Descend these hallow'd steps; not that more love 
Compare Hell, Canto xiv. the ladder, made those different move- 
ments, as of birds. 
7 Because it would have overcome 
thee. 


5 Saturn. 
91. 
6 That multitude of shining spir- 
its, who, coming to a certain point of 



37 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXI 


Invites me; for, lot there aloft,S as much 
Or more of love is witness'd in those Barnes: 
But such my lot by charity assign'd, 
That makes us ready servants, as thou seest, 
To execute the counsel of the Highest." 
"That in this court," said I, "0 sacred lamp! 
Love no compulsion needs, but follo,vs free 
The eternal Providence, I well discern: 
This harder find to deem: why, of thy peers, 
Thou only, to this office wert foredoom'd." 
I had not ended, when, like rapid mill, 
Upon its centre whirl'd the light; and then 
The love that did inhabit there, replied: 
"Splendour eternal, piercing through these folds, 
Its virtue to my vision knits; and thus 
Supported, lifts me so above myself, 
That on the sovran Essence, which it wells from, 
I have the power to gaze: and hence the joy, 
Wherewith I sparkle, equaling with my blaze 
The keenness of my sight. But not the soul,9 
That is in Heaven most lustrous, nor the Seraph, 
That hath his eyes most fix'd on God, shall solve 
What thou hast ask'd: for in the abyss it lies 
Of th' everlasting statute sunk so low, 
That no created ken may fathom it. 
And, to the mortal world when thou return'st, 
Be this reported: that none henceforth dare 
Direct his footsteps to so dread a bourn. 
The mind, that here is radiant, on the earth 
Is wrapt in mist. Look then if she may do 
Below, what passeth her ability 
When she is ta'en to Heaven." By words like these 
Admonish'd, I the question urged no more; 
And of the spirit humbly sued alone 
To instruct me of its state. "'Twixt either shore 10 
Of Italy, nor distant from thy land, 
A stony ridge ll ariseth; in such sort, 
aloft." Where the other very Angels themselves. 
10 Between the Adriatic Gulf and 
the Mediterranean Sea. 
11 A part of the Apennines. 


8 "There 
souls were. 
9 ClNot the soul." The particular ends 
of Providence being concealed from the 



CANTO XXI 


PARADISE 


377 


The thunder doth not lift his voice so high. 
They call it Catria: 12 at whose foot, a cell 
Is sacred to the lonely Eremite; 
For worship set apart and holy rites." 
A third time thus it spake; then added: "There 
So firmly to God's service I adhered, 
That with no costlier viands than the juice 
Of olives, easily I pass'd the heats 
Of summer and the winter frosts; content 
In heaven-ward musings. Rich were the returns 
And fertile, which that cloister once was used 
To render to these Heavens: now 'tis fallen 
Into a waste so empty, that ere long 
Detection must lay bare its vanity. 
Pietro Damiano 13 there was I y-clept: 
Pietro the sinner, when before I dwelt, 
Beside the Adriatic,14 in the house 
Of our blest Lady. Near upon my close 
Of mortal life, through much importuning 
I was constrain'd to wear the hat,15 that still 
From bad to worse is shifted.-Cephas I6 came: 
He came, who was the Holy Spirit's vessel;17 
Barefoot and lean; eating their bread, as chanced, 
At the first table. Modern Shepherds need 


12 Now the Abbey of Santa Croce, 
in the Duchy of U rbino, about half 
way between Gubbio and La Pergola. 
Here Dante is said to have resided for 
some time. 
13 "Pietro Damiano." "S. Pietro 
Damiano obtained a great and well- 
merited reputation by the pains he 
took to correct the abuses among the 
clergy. Ravenna is supposed to have 
been the place of his birth, about 1007. 
He was employed in several important 
missions, and rewarded by Stephen IX 
with the dignity of cardinal, and the 
bishopric of Ostia, to which, however, 
he preferred his former retreat in the 
monastery of Fonte Avellana, and pre- 
vailed on Alexander II to permit him 
to retire thither. Yet he did not long 
continue in this seclusion, before he 
was sent on other embassies. He died 


at Faenza in 1072. His letters throw 
much light on the obscure history of 
these times. Besides them, he has left 
several treatises on sacred and ec. 
c1esiastical subjects. His eloquence is 
worthy of a better age." Tiraboschi, 
Storia dell a Leu. Ita1. 
14 Some editions and manuscripts 
have "fu," instead of "fui." According 
to the former of these readings, S. 
Pietro Damiano is made to distinguish 
himself from S. Pietro degli Onesti, 
surnamed "II Peccator," founder of 
the monastery of S. Maria del Porto, on 
the Adriatic coast, near Ravenna, who 
died in 1119, at about eighty years of 
age. 
15 "The hat." The cardinal's hat. 
16 "Cephas." St. Peter. 
17 St. Paul. See Hell, Canto ii. 30. 



37 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXII 


Those who on either hand may prop and lead them, 
So burly are they grown; and from behind, 
Others to hoist them. Down the palfrey's sides 
Spread their broad mantles, so as both the beasts 
Are cover'd with one skin. 0 patience 
 thou 
That look'st on this, and dost endure so long." 
I at those accents saw the splendours down 
From step to step alight, and wheel, and wax, 
Each circuiting, more beautiful. Round this 18 
They came, and stay'd them; utter'd then a shout 
So loud, it hath no likeness here: nor I 
Wist what it spake, so deafening was the thunder. 


CANTO XXII 


ARGUMENT.-He beholds many other spirits of the devout and contemplative; and 
among these is addressed by St. Benedict, who, after disclosing his own name and 
the names of certain of his companions in bliss, replies to the request made by our 
Poet that he might look on the form of the saint, without that covering of splendor, 
which then invested it; and then proceeds, lastly, to inveigh against the corruption 
of the monks. Next Dante mounts with his heavenly conductress to the eighth 
heaven, or that of the fixed stars, which he enters at the constellation of the Twins; 
and thence looking back, reviews all the space he has passed between his present 
station and the earth. 


X TOUNDED, to the guardian of my steps 
I turn'd me, like the child, who always runs 
Thither for succour, where he trusteth most: 
And she was like the mother, who her son 
Beholding pale and breathless, with her voice 
Soothes him, and he is cheer'd; for thus she spake, 
Soothing me: "Know'st not thou, thou art in Heaven? 
And know'st not thou, whatever is in Heaven, 
Is holy; and that nothing there is done, 
But is done zealously and well? Deem now, 
What change in thee the song, and what my smile 
Had wrought, since thus the shout had power to move 
thee; 
In which, couldst thou have understood their prayers, 
The vengeance l were already known to thee, 
Which thou must witness ere thy mortal hour. 
18 "Round this." Round the spirit of posed, intimates the approaching fate of 
Pietro Damiano. Boniface VIII. See Purgatory, Canto xx. 
I "The vengeance. "B
atrice, it is sup- 86. 



CANTO XXII 


PARADISE 


379 


The sword of Heaven is not in haste to smite, 
Nor yet doth linger; save unto his seeming, 
Who, in desire or fear, doth look for it. 
But elsewhere now I bid thee turn thy view; 
So shalt thou many a famous spirit behold." 
Mine eyes directing, as she will'd, I saw 
A hundred little spheres, that fairer grew 
By interchange of splendour. I remain'd, 
As one, who fearful of o'er-much presuming, 
Abates in him the keenness of desire, 
Nor dares to question; when, amid those pearls, 
One largest and most lustrous on\vard dre\v, 
That it might yield contentment to my \vish; 
And, from within it, these the sounds I heard. 
"If thou, like me, beheld'st the charity 
That burns amongst us; \vhat thy mind conceives 
Were utter'd. But that, ere the lofty bound 
Thou reach, expectance may not ,veary thee; 
I will make answer even to the thought, 
Which thou hast such respect of. In old days, 
That mountain, at whose side Cassin0 2 rests, 
Was, on its height, frequented by a race 
Deceived and ill-disposed: and I it was,3 
Who thither carried first the name of Him, 
Who brought the soul-subliming truth to man. 
And such a speeding grace shone over me, 
That from their impious worship I reclaim'd 
The dwellers round about, who with the \vorld 
Were in delusion lost. These other flames, 
The spirits of men contemplative, were all 
Enliven'd by that warmth, whose kindly force 
Gives birth to flowers and fruits of holiness. 
Here is Macarius;4 Romoald0 5 here; 


2 A castle in the Terra di Lavoro. 
3 "A new order of monks, which in a 
manner absorbed all the others that were 
established in the west, was instituted, 
529, by Benedict of Nursia, a man of 
piety and reputation for the age he lived 
in." Maclaine's Mosheim, Eccles. Hist. 
4 "Macarius, an Egyptian monk, de- 
serves the first rank among the practical 


writers of the fourth century, as his works 
displayed, some few things excepted, the 
brightest and most lovely portraiture of 
sanctity and virtue." Ibid. 
5 S. Romoaldo, a native of Ravenna. 
and the founder of the order of Camal- 
doli, died in 1027. He was the author 
of a commentary on the Psalms. 



3 80 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXII 


And here my brethren, who their steps refrain'd 
Within the cloisters, and held firm their heart." 
I answering thus: "Thy gentle words and kind, 
And this the cheerful semblance I behold, 
Not unobservant, beaming in ye all, 
Have raised assurance in me; wakening it 
Full-blossom'd in my bosom, as a rose 
Before the sun, when the consummate flower 
Has spread to utmost amplitude. Of thee 
Therefore intreat I, father, to declare 
If I may gain such favour, as to gaze 
Upon thine image by no covering veil'd." 
"Brother I" he thus rejoin'd, "in the last sphere 6 
Expect completion of thy lofty aim: 
For there on each desire completion \vaits, 
And there on mine; where every aim is found 
Perfect, entire, and for fulfilment ripe. 
There all things are as they have ever been: 
For space is none to bound; nor pole divides. 
Our ladder reaches even to that clime; 
And so, at giddy distance, mocks thy view. 
Thither the patriarch Jacob 7 saw it stretch 
Its topmost round; when it appear'd to him 
With Angels laden. But to mount it now 
None lifts his foot from earth: and hence my rule 
Is left a profitless stain upon the leaves; 
The walls, for abbey rear'd, turn'd into dens; 
The cowls, to sacks choak'd up with musty meal. 
Foul usury doth not more lift itself 
Against God's pleasure, than that fruit, which n1akes, 
The hearts of monks so wanton: for whate'er 
Is in the Church's keeping, all pertains 
To such, as sue for Heaven's sweet sake; and not 
To those, who in respect of kindred claim, 
Or on more vile allowance. Mortal flesh 


6 uIn the last sphere." The Empyrean, 
where he afterward sees St. Benedict, 
Canto xxxii. 30. Beatified spirits, though 
they have different heavens allotted them, 
have all their seats in that higher sphere. 
7 "The patriarch Jacob." "And he 


dreamed, and behold, a ladder set upon 
the earth, and the top of it reached to 
heaven: and behold the angels of God 
ascending and dc
ccnding on it."-Gen. 
xxviii. 12. 



CANTO XXII 


PARADISE 


3 81 


Is grown so dainty, good beginnings last not 
From the oak's birth unto the acorn's setting. 
His convent Peter founded without gold 
Or silver; I, with prayers and fasting, mine; 
And Francis, his in meek humility. 
And if thou note the point, whence each proceeds, 
Then look what it hath err'd to; thou shalt find 
The white grown n1urky. Jordan was turn'd back: 
And a less wonder, than the refluent sea, 
May, at God's pleasure, work amendment here." 
So saying, to his assembly back he drew: 
A.nd they together cluster'd into one; 
Then all roll'd upward, like an eddying \vind. 
The sweet dame beckon'd me to follow them: 
And, by that influence only, so prevail'd 
Over my nature, that no natural motion, 
.Ascending or descending here below, 
Had, as I mounted, \vith my pennon vied. 
So, reader, as my hope is to return 
Unto the holy triumph, for the which 
loft-times wail my sins, and smite my breast; 
Thou hadst been longer drawing out and thrusting 
Thy finger in the fire, than I was, ere 
The sign,8 that follo\veth Taurus, I beheld, 
And enter'd its precinct. 0 glorious stars! 
o light impregnate with exceeding virtue! 
To whom whate'er of genius lifteth me 
Above the vulgar, grateful I refer; 
With ye the parent 9 of all mortal life 
Arose and set, \vhen I did first inhale 
The Tuscan air; and afterward, \vhen grace 
Vouchsafed me entrance to the lofty wheel 10 
That in its orb impels ye, fate decreed 
11y passage at your clime. To you my soul 
Devoutly sighs, for virtue, even now, 
To meet the hard emprise that draws n1e on. 
"Thou art so near the sum of blessedness," 
8 "The sign. os The constellation of constel1ation of the Twins at the time of 
Gemini. Dante's birth. 
9 "The parent." The sun was in the 10 "The lofty whee1." The eighth 
heaven; that of the fixed stars. 



3 82 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXII 


Said Beatrice, "that behoves thy ken 
Be vigilant and clear. And, to this end, 
Or ever thou advance thee further, hence 
Look downward, and contemplate, what a world 
Already stretch'd under our feet there lies: 
So as thy heart may, in its blithest mood, 
Present itself to the triumphal throng, 
Which, through the ethereal concave, comes rejoicing." 
I straight obey'd; and with mine eye return'd 
Through all the seven spheres; and saw this globe 
So pitiful of semblance, that perforce 
It moved my smiles: and him in truth I hold 
For wisest, \vho esteems it least; whose thoughts 
Elsewhere are fix'd, him worthiest call and best. 
I saw the daughter of Latona shine 
\Vithout the shadow, 11 "vhereof late I deem'd 
That dense and rare were cause. Here I sustain'd 
The visage, Hyperion, of thy son;12 
And mark'd, how near him with their circles, round 
Move !\1aia and Dione;13 here discern'd 
Jove's tempering 'twixt his sire and son;14 and hence, 
Their changes and their various aspects, 
Distinctly scann'd. Nor might I not descry 
Of all the seven, how bulky each, how swift; 
Nor, of their several distances, not learn. 
This petty area, (o'er the \vhich we stride 
So fiercely), as along the eternal Twins 
I wound my way, appear'd before me all, 
Forth from the havens stretch'd unto the hills. 
Then, to the beauteous eyes, mine eyes return'd. 


11 "Without the shadow." See Canto 
ii. 7 I. 
12 "Of thy son." The sun. 
13 "Maia and Dione." The planets 
Mercury and Venus, Dione being the 


mother of the latter, and Maia of the 
former deity. 
14" 'Twixt his sire and son." Betwixt 
Saturn and Mars. 



CANTO XXIII 


PARADISE 


3 8 3 


CANTO XXIII 


ARGUMENT.-He sees Christ triumphing with his Church. The Saviour ascends 
followed by his Virgin Mother. The others remain with St. Peter. 


E 'EN as the bird, who midst the leafy bower 
Has, in her nest, sat darkling through the night, 
With her sweet brood; impatient to descry 
Their wished looks, and to bring home their food, 
In the fond quest unconscious of her toil: 
She, of the time prevenient, on the spray, 
That overhangs their couch, with wakeful gaze 
Expects the sun; nor ever, till the dawn, 
Removeth from the east her eager ken: 
So stood the dame erect, and bent her glance 
Wistfully on that region/ where the sun 
Abateth most his speed; that, seeing her 
Suspense and wondering, I became as one, 
In whom desire is waken'd, and the hope 
Of somewhat new to come fills with delight. 
Short space ensued; I was not held, I say, 
Long in expectance, when I saw the Heaven 
Wax more and more resplendent; and, "Behold:' 
Cried Beatrice, "the triumphal hosts 
Of Christ, and all the harvest gather'd in, 
Made ripe by these revolving spheres." Me seem' d, 
That, while she spake, her image all did burn; 
And in her eyes such fulness was of joy, 
As I am fain to pass unconstrued by. 
As in the calm full moon, when Trivia 2 smiles, 
In peerless beauty, 'mid the eternal nyn1phs,3 
That paint through all its gulfs the blue profound; 
In bright pre-eminence so saw I there 
O'er million lamps a Sun, from whom all drew 
Their radiance, as from ours the starry train: 
And, through the living light, so lustrous glow'd 
The substance, that my ken endured it not. 


1 "That region." Toward the south, 
where the course of the sun appears less 
rapid, than when he is in the east or 
the west. 


2 "Trivia." A name of Diana. 
3 "The eternal nymphs." The stars. 
Those starry nymphs which dance about 
the pole. Drummond Sonnet. 



3 8 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIII 


o Beatrice t sweet and precious guide, 
Who cheer'd me with her comfortable words: 
"Against the virtue, that o'erpowereth thee, 
Avails not to resist. Here is the Might,4 
And here the Wisdom, which did open lay 
The path, that had been yearned for so long, 
Betwixt the Heaven and earth." Like to the fire, 
That, in a cloud imprison'd, doth break out 
Expansive, so that from its womb enlarged, 
It falleth against nature to the ground; 
Thus, in that heavenly banqueting, my soul 
Outgrew herself; and, in the transport lost, 
Holds now ren1embrance none of what she was. 
"Ope thou thine eyes, and mark me: thou hast seen 
Things, that empo\ver thee to sustain my smile." 
I was as one, when a forgotten dream 
Doth come across him, and he strives in vain 
To shape it in his fantasy again: 
Whenas that gracious boon was proffer'd me, 
'Vhich never may be cancel'd from the book 
Wherein the past is written. N 0\\1 were all 
Those tongues to sound, that have, on s\veetest milk 
Of Polyhymnia and her sisters, fed 
And fatten'd; not with all their help to boot, 
Unto the thousandth parcel of the truth, 
My song might shadow forth that saintly smile, 
Ho\v merely, in her saintly looks, it wrought. 
And, with such figuring of Paradise, 
The sacred strain must leap, like one that meets 
A sudden interruption to his road. 
But he, who thinks how ponderous the theme, 
And that 'tis laid upon a mortal shoulder, 
May pardon, if it tremble with the burden. 
The track, our venturous keel must furro\v, brooks 
No unribb'd pinnace, no self-sparing pilot. 
"Why doth my face," said Beatrice, "thus 
Enamour thee, as that thou dost not turn 
Unto the beautiful garden, blossoming 
4 "The Might." Our Saviour. 



CA
TO XXIII 


PARADISE 


3 8 5 


Beneath the rays of Christ? Here is the Rose,5 
Wherein- the Word Divine was made incarnate; 
And here the lilies,6 by whose odour known 
The way of life was follow'd." Prompt I heard 
Her bidding, and encounter'd once again 
The strife of aching vision. As, erewhile, [ cloud, 
Through glance of sun-light, stream'd through broken 

fine eyes a flower-besprinkled mead have seen; 
Though veil'd themselves in shade: so saw I there 
Legions of splendours, on whom burning rays 
Shed lightnings from above; yet saw I not 
The fountain whence they flow'd. 0 gracious Virtue 
Thou, whose broad stamp is on them, higher up 
Thou didst exalt Thy glory,7 to give room 
To my o'erlabour'd sight; when at the name 
Of that fair flower,8 whom duly I invoke 
Both morn and eve, my soul with all her might 
Collected, on the goodliest ardour fix'd. 
And, as the bright dimensions of the star 
In Heaven excelling, as once here on earth, 
Were, in my eye-balls livelily pourtray'd; 
Lo! from within the sky a cresset 9 fell, 
Circling in fashion of a diadem; 
And girt the star; and, hovering, round it wheeI'd. 
Whatever melody sounds sweetest here, 
And draws the spirit most unto itself, 
Might seem a rent cloud, when it grates the thunder; 
Compared unto the sounding of that lyre,lO 
\Vherewith the goodliest sapphire,l1 that inlays 
The floor of Heaven, was cro\vn'd. "Angelic Love 
I am, who thus with hovering flight enwheel 


5 "The rose." The Virgin Mary, who 
is termed by the Church, "Rosa Mystica." 
"I was exalted like a palm-tree in En- 
gaddi. and as a rose-plant in Jericho."- 
Ecclesiasticus, xxiv. 14. 
6 "The lilies." The Apostles. &lAnd 
give ye a sweet savour as frankincense, 
and flourish as a lily."-Ecclesiasticus, 
xxxix. 14. 
7 "Thou didst exalt thy glory." The 


divine light retired upward, to render the 
eyes of Dante more capable of enduring 
the spectacle which now presented itself. 
8 "- the name 
Of that fair flower." 
The name of the Virgin. 
9 "A cresset." The angel Gabriel. 
10 "That lyre." By synecdoche, the 
lyre is put for the angel. 
11 The Virgin. 



3 86 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIII 


The lofty rapture from that womb inspired, 
Where our desire did dwell: and round thee so, 
Lady of Heaven! will hover; long as thou 
Thy Son shalt follow, and diviner joy 
Shall from thy presence gild the highest sphere.'
 
Such close was to the circling melody: 
And, as it ended, all the other lights 
Took up the strain, and echoed Mary's name. 
The robe,12 that with its regal folds enwraps 
The world, and with the nearer breath of God 
Doth burn and quiver, held so far retired 
Its inner hem and skirting over us, 
That yet no glimmer of its majesty 
Had stream'd unto me: therefore were mine eyes 
Unequal to pursue the crowned flame,13 
That towering rose, and sought the seed 14 it bore. 
And like to babe, that stretches forth its arms 
For very eagerness toward the breast, 
After the milk is taken; so outstretch'd 
Their wavy summits all the fervent band, 
Through zealous love to Mary: then, in view, 
There halted; and "Regina Cæli"15 sang 
So sweetly, the delight hath left me never. 
Oh! what o'erflowing plenty is up-piled 
In those rich-laden coffers,16 which belo\v 
Sow'd the good seed, whose harvest now they keep. 
Here are the treasures tasted, that with tears 
Were in the Babylonian exile 17 won, 
When gold had fail'd them. Here, in synod high 
Of ancient council with the new convened, 
Under the Son of Mary and of God, 
Victorious he 1s his mighty triumph holds, 
To whom the keys of glory were assign'd. 


12 "The robe." The ninth heaven, the 
primum mobile, that enfolds and moves 
the eight lower heavens. 
13 "The crowned flame." The Virgin, 
with the angel hovering over her. 
14 "The seed." Our Saviour. 
15 "Regina Cæli." "The beginning of 
an anthem, sung by the Church at Easter, 
in honor of Our Lady." 


16 "Those rich-laden coffers." Those 
spirits, who, having sown the seed of 
good works on earth, now contain the 
fruit of their pious endeavors. 
17 "In the Babylonian exile." During 
their abode in this world. 
IS "He." St. Peter, with the other holy 
men of the Old and New Testaments. 



CANTO XXIV 


PARADISE 


3 8 7 


CANTO XXIV 


ARGUMENT.-$t. Peter examines Dante touching Faith, and is contented with his 
answers. 


" Q YE! in chosen fellowship advanced 
To the great supper of the blessed Lamb, 
Whereon who feeds hath every wish fulfill'd; 
If to this man through God's grace be vouchsafed 
Foretaste of that, which from your table falls, 
Or ever death his fated term prescribe; 
Be ye not heedless of his urgent will: 
But may some influence of your sacred dews 
Sprinkle him. Of the fount ye alway drink, 
Whence flows what most he craves." Beatrice spake; 
And the rejoicing spirits, like to spheres 
On firm-set poles revolving, trail'd a blaze 
Of comet splendour: and as wheels, that wind 
Their circles in the horologe, so work 
The stated rounds, that to the observant eye 
The first seems still, and as it flew, the last; 
E'en thus their carols weaving variously, 
They, by the measure paced, or swift, or slo\v, 
Made me to rate the riches of their joy. 
From that, which I did note in beauty n10st 
Excelling, saw I issue forth a flame 
So bright, as none was left more goodly there. 
Round Beatrice thrice it wheeI'd about, 
\Vith so divine a song, that fancy's ear 
Records it not; and the pen passeth on, 
And leaves a blank: for that our mortal speech, 
Nor e'en the inward shaping of the brain, 
Hath colours fine enough to trace such folds. 
"0 saintly sister mine! thy prayer devout 
Is with so vehement affection urged, 
Thou dost unbind me from that beauteous sphere." 
Such were the accents towards my lady breathed 
From that blest ardour, soon as it was stay'd; 
To whom she thus: "0 everlasting light 
Of him, within whose mighty grasp our Lord 
Did leave the keys, which of this wondrous bliss 



3 88 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIV 


He bare below! tent this man as thou wilt, 
With lighter probe or deep, touching the faith, 
By the which thou didst on the billows walk. 
If he in love, in hope, and in belief, 
Be steadfast, is not hid from thee: for thou 
Hast there thy ken, where all things are beheld 
In liveliest portraiture. But since true faith 
Has peopled this fair realm with citizens; 
Meet is, that to exalt its glory more, 
Thou, in his audience, shouldst thereof discourse." 
Like to the bachelor, who arms himself, 
And speaks not, till the master have proposed 
The question, to approve, and not to end it; 
So I, in silence, arm'd me, while she spake, 
Summoning up each argument to aid; 
As was behoveful for such questioner, 
And such profession: "As good Christian ought, 
Declare thee, what is faith?" Whereat I raised 
My forehead to the light, whence this had breathed; 
Then turn'd to Beatrice; and in her looks 
Approval met, that from their inmost fount 
I should unlock the waters. "May the grace, 
That giveth me the captain of the Church 
For confessor," said I, "vouchsafe to me 
Apt utterance for my thoughts;" then added: "Sire! 
E'en as set down by the unerring style 
Of thy dear brother, who with thee conspired 
To bring Rome in unto the way of life, 
Faith of things hoped is substance, and the proof 
Of things not seen; and herein doth consist 
Methinks its essence."-"Rightly hast thou deem'd," 
Was answer'd; "if thou well discern, why first 
He hath defined it substance, and then proof." 
"The deep things," I replied, "which here I scan 
Distinct! y, are below from mortal eye 
So hidden, they have in belief alone 
Their being; on which credence, hope sublime 
Is built: and, therefore substance, it intends. 
And inasmuch as we must needs infer 



CANTO XXIV 


PARADISE 


3 8 9 


From such belief our reasoning, all respect 
To other view excluded; hence of proof 
The intention is derived." Forthwith I heard: 
"If thus, whate'er by learning men attain, 
Were understood; the sophist would want room 
To exercise his wit." So breathed the flame 
Of love; then added: "Current is the coin 
Thou utter'st, both in weight and in alloy. 
But tell me, if thou hast it in thy purse." 
"E ven so glittering and so round," said I, 
"I not a whit misdoubt of its assay." 
Next issued from the deep-imbosom'd splendour: 
"Say, whence the costly jewel, on the which 
Is founded every virtue, came to thee." 
"The flood," I answer'd, "from the Spirit of God 
Rain'd down upon the ancient bond and new,t- 
Here is the reasoning that con vinceth me 
So feelingly, each argument beside 
Seems blunt and forceless in comparison." 
Then heard I: "Wherefore holdest thou that each, 
The elder proposition and the new, 
Which so persuade thee, are the voice of Heaven?" 
"The works, that follow'd, evidence their truth," 
I answer'd : "Nature did not make for these 
The iron hot, or on her anvil mould them." 
"Who voucheth to thee of the works themselves," 
Was the reply, "that they in very deed 
Are that they purport? None hath sworn so to thee." 
"That all the world," said I, "should have been 
turn'd 
To Christian, and no miracle been wrought, 
Would in itself be such a miracle, 
The rest were not an hundredth part so great. 
E' en thou went'st forth in poverty and hunger 
To set the goodly plant, that, from the vine 
It once was, now is grown unsightly bramble." 
That ended, through the high celestial court 
Resounded all the spheres, "Praise we one God!" 
1 "The ancient bond and new." The Old and New Testaments. 



39 0 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIV 


In song of most unearthly melody. 
And when that Worthy2 thus, from branch to branch, 
Examining, had led me, that we now 
Approach'd the topmost bough; he straight resumed: 
"The grace, that holds sweet dalliance with thy soul 
So far discreetly hath thy lips unclosed; 
That, whatsoe'er has past them, I commend. 
Behoves thee to express, what thou believest, 
The next; and, whereon, thy belief hath grown." 
"0 saintly sire and spiritl" I began, 
"Who seest that, which thou didst so believe, 
As to outstrip feet younger than thine own, 
Toward the sepulchre; thy will is here, 
That I the tenour of my creed unfold; 
And thou, the cause of it, hast likewise ask'd. 
And I reply: I in one God believe; 
One sole eternal Godhead, of whose love 
All Heaven is moved, Himself unmoved the while. 
Nor demonstration physical alone, 
Or more intelligential and abstruse, 
Persuades me to this faith: but from that truth 
It cometh to me rather, which is shed 
Through Moses; the rapt Prophets; and the Psalms; 
The Gospel; and what ye yourselves did write, 
When ye were gifted of the Holy Ghost. 
In three eternal Persons I believe; 
Essence threefold and one; mysterious league 
Of union absolute, which, many a time, 
The word of gospel lore upon my mind 
Imprints: and from this germ, this firstling spark 
The lively flame dilates; and, like Heaven's star, 
Doth glitter in me." As the master hears, 
Well pleased, and then enfoldeth in his arms 
The servant, who hath joyful tidings brought, 
And having told the errand keeps his peace; 
Thus benediction uttering with song, 
Soon as my peace I held, compass'd me thrice 


2 "QueI Baron." In the next Canto, Boccaccio, G. vi. N. 10, we find "Baron 
St. James is called "Barone." So in Messer Santo Antonio." 



CANTO XXV 


PARADISE 


39 1 


The apostolic radiance, whose behest 
Had oped my lips: so well their answer pleased. 


CANTO XXV 


ARGUMENT.-St. James questions our Poet concerning Hope. Next St. John appears; 
and, on perceiving that Dante looks intently on him, informs him that he, St. John, 
had left his body resolved into earth, upon the earth, and that Christ and the Virgin 
alone had come with their bodies into Heaven. 


I F e'er the sacred poem, that hath made 
Both Heaven and earth copartners in its toil, 
And with lean abstinence, through many a year, 
Faded my bro\\T, be destined to prevail 
Over the cruelty, which bars me forth 
Of the fair sheep-fold,t where, a sleeping lamb, 
The wolves set on and fain had worried nle; 
With other voice, and fleece of other grain, 
I shall forthwith return; and, standing up 
At my baptismal font, shall claim the wreath 
Due to the poet's temples: for I there 
First enter'd on the faith, which maketh souls 
Acceptable to God: and, for its sake,2 
Peter had then circled my forehead thus. 
Next from the squadron, whence had issued forth 
The first fruit of Christ's vicars on the earth, 
Toward us moved a light, at view whereof 
My Lady, full of gladness, spake to me: 
"Lo! lo! behold the peer of mickle might, 
That makes Galicia throng'd with visitants."3 
As when the ring-dove by his mate alights; 
In circles, each about the other wheels, 
And, murmuring, coos his fondness; thus saw I 


1 Florence, whence he was banished. 
2 For the sake of that faith. 
3 "At the time that the sepulchre of 
the apostle St. James was discovered, the 
devotion for that place extended itself 
not only over all Spain, but even round 
about to foreign nations. Multitudes from 
all parts of the world came to visit it. 
Many others were deterred by the diffi- 
culty of the journey, by the roughness 


and barrenness of those parts, and by the 
incursions of the Moors, who made cap- 
tives many of the pilgrims. The canons 
of St. Eloy, afterward (the precise time 
is not known), with a desire of remedy- 
ing these evils, built, in many places along 
the whole road, which reached as far 
as to France, hospitals for the reception 
of the pilgrims." 



39 2 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXV 


One, of the other 4 great and glorious prince, 
With kindly greeting, hail'd; extolling, both, 
Their heavenly banqueting: but when an end 
Was to their gratulation, silent, each, 
Before me sat they down, so burning bright, 
I could not look upon them. Smiling then, 
Beatrice spake: "0 life in glory shrined! 
Wh0 5 didst the largess of our kingly court 
Set down with faithful pen, let now thy voice, 
Of hope the praises, in this height resound. 
For well thou know'st, who figurest it as oft, 
As Jesus, to ye three, more brightly shone." 
"Lift up thy head; and be thou strong in trust: 
For that, which hither from the mortal world 
Arriveth, must be ripen'd in our beam." 
Such cheering accents from the second flame 6 
Assured me; and mine eyes I lifted Up7 
Unto the mountains, that had bow'd them late 
With over-heavy burden. "Sith our Liege 
Wills of His grace, that thou, or e'er thy death, 
In the most secret council with His lords 
Shouldst be confronted, so that having view'd 
The glories of our court, thou mayest therewith 
Thyself, and all who hear, invigorate 
With hope, that leads to blissful end; declare, 
What is that hope? how it doth flourish in thee? 
And whence thou hadst it?" Thus, proceeding still, 
The second light: and she, whose gentle love 
My soaring pennons in that lofty flight 
Escorted, thus preventing me, rejoin'd: 
"Among her sons, not one more full of hope, 
Hath the Church Militant: so 'tis of him 
Recorded in the Sun, whose liberal orb 
Enlightened all our tribe: and ere his term 
Of warfare, hence permitted he is come, 



 "One, of the other." St. Peter and 
St. James. 
S "Who." The Epistle of St. James is 
here attributed to the elder apostle of 
that name, whose shrine was at Com- 
postell a, in Galicia. 


6 "The second flame." St. James. 
7 "I lifted up." "I looked up to the 
apostles." UI will lift up mine eyes unto 
the hills, from whence cometh my help." 
- Psalm cxxi. I. 



CANTO XXV 


PARADISE 


393 


From Egypt to Jerusalem,8 to see. 
The other points, both which 9 thou hast inquired, 
Not for more knowledge, but that he may tell 
How dear thou hold'st the virtue; these to him 
Leave I: for he may answer thee with ease, 
And without boasting, so God give him grace." 
Like to the scholar, practised in his task, 
'Vho, willing to give proof of diligence, 
Seconds his teacher gladly; "Hope," said I, 
"Is of the joy to come a sure expectance, 
The effect of grace divine and merit preceding. 
This light from many a star, visits my heart; 
But flow'd to me, the first, from him \vho sang 
The songs of the Supreme; himself supreme 
Among his tuneful brethren. 'Let all hope 
In thee,' so spake his anthem, 'who have known 
Thy name;' and, with my faith, who knows not that? 
From thee, the next, distilling from his spring, 
In thine epistle, fell on me the drops 
So plenteously, that I on others shower 
The influence of their dew." Whileas I spake, 
A lamping, as of quick and volley'd lightning, 
\Vithin the bosom of that mighty sheen lO 
Play'd tremulous; then forth these accents breathed: 
"Love for the virtue, which attended me 
E'en to the palm, and issuing from the field, 
Glows vigorous yet within me; and inspires 
To ask of thee, whom also it delights, 
What promise thou from hope, in chief, dost win." 
"Both scriptures, new and ancient," I replied, 
"Propose the mark (which even now I view) 
For souls beloved of God. Isaias ll saith, 
'That, in their own land, each one must be clad 
In two-fold vesture;' and their proper land 
Is this delicious life. In terms more full, 


8 From the lower world to Heaven. 
9 One point Beatrice has herself an- 
swered: "how that hope flourishes in 
him." The other two remain for Dante 
to resolve. 


10 "That mighty sheen." The spirit of 
St. James. 
11 "Isaias." "He hath clothed me with 
the garments of sal vation, he hath covered 
me with the robe of righteousness."- 
Chap. lxi. 10. 



394 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO Xx.v 


And clearer far, thy brother 12 hath set forth 
This revelation to us, where he tells 
Of the white raiment destined to the saints." 
And, as the words were ending, from above, 
"They hope in Thee!" first heard we cried: whereto 
Answer'd the carols all. Amidst them next, 
A light of so clear amplitude emerged, 
That \vinter's month were but a single day, 
Were such a crystal in the Cancer's sign. 
Like as a virgin riseth up, and goes, 
And enters on the mazes of the dance; 
Though gay, yet innocent of worse intent, 
Than to do fitting honour to the bride: 
So I beheld the new effulgence come 
Unto the other two, who in a ring 
Wheel'd, as became their rapture. In the dance, 
And in the song, it mingled. And the dame 
Held on them fix'd her looks; e'en as the spouse, 
Silent, and moveless. "This l3 is he, who lay 
Upon the bosom of our Pelican: 
This he, into whose keeping, from the Cross, 
The mighty charge was given." Thus she spake: 
Yet therefore naught the more removed her sight 
From marking them: or e'er her words began, 
Or when they closed. As he, who looks intent, 
And strives with searching ken, how he may see 
The sun in his eclipse, and, through desire 
Of seeing, loseth power of sight; so p4 
Peer'd on that last resplendence, while I heard: 
"Why dazzlest thou thine eyes in seeking that, 
Which here abides not? Earth my body is, 
In earth; and shall be, with the rest, so long, 
As till our number equal the decree 
Of the Most High. The two 1S that have ascended, 


12 "Thy brother." St. John in the Rev. 
vii. 9. 
13 St. John, who reclined on the bosom 
of our Saviour, and to whose charge Jesus 
recommended bis mother. 
14 "So I." He looked so earnestly, to 
descry whether St. John were present 


there in body, or in spirit only; having 
had his doubts raised by that sayin
 of 
our Saviour's: "If I will, that he tarry 
till I come, what is that to thee?" 
15 Christ and Mary, decribed in Canto 
xxiii. as rising above his sight. 



CANTO XXVI 


PARADISE 


395 


In this our blessed cloister, shine alone 
With the two garments. So report below." 
As when, for ease of labour, or to shun 
Suspected peril, at a whistle's breath, 
The oars, erewhile dash'd frequent in the wave, 
All rest: the Barny circle at that voice 
So rested; and the mingling sound was still, 
Which from the trinal band, soft-breathing, rose. 
I turn'd, but ah! how trembled in my thought, 
When, looking at my side again to see 
Beatrice, I descried her not; although, 
Not distant, on the happy coast she stood. 


CANTO XXVI 


ARGUMENT.-St. John examines our Poet touching Charity. Afterward Adam tells 
when he was created, and placed in the terrestrial Paradise; how long he remained in 
that state; what was the occasion of his fall; when he was admitted into Heaven; and 
what language he spake. 


W ITH dazzled eyes, whilst wondering I remain'd; 
Forth of the beamy Bame/ which dazzled me, 
Issued a breath, that in attention mute 
Detain'd me; and these words it spake: "'Twere well 
That, long as till thy vision, on my form 
0' erspent, regain its virtue, with discourse 
Thou compensate the brief delay. Say then, 
Beginning, to what point thy soul aspires: 
And meanwhile rest assured, that sight in thee 
Is but o'erpower'd a space, not wholly quench'd; 
Since thy fair guide and lovely, in her look 
Hath potency, the like to that, which dwelt 
In Ananias' hand." 2 I answering thus: 
"Be to mine eyes the remedy, or late 
Or early, at her pleasure; for they were 
The gates, at which she enter'd, and did light 
Her never-dying fire. My wishes here 
Are centred: in this palace is the weal, 
That Alpha and Omega is, to all 


1 "The bcamy flame." St. John. 
2 "Ananias' hand." Who, by putting 


his hand on St. Paul, restored his sight. 
Acts, ix. 17. 



39 6 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVI 


The lessons love can read me." Yet again 
The voice, which had dispersed my fear when dazed 
\Vith that excess, to converse urged, and spake: 
"Behoves thee sift more narrowly thy terms; 
And say, who level'd at this scope thy bo\v." 
"Philosophy," said I, "hath arguments, 
And this place hath authority enough, 
To imprint in me such love: for, of constraint, 
Good, inasmuch as we perceive the good, 
Kindles our love; and in degree the more, 
As it comprises more of goodness in 't. 
The essence then, where such advantage is, 
That each good, found without it, is naught else 
But of His light the beam, must needs attract 
The soul of each one, loving, who the truth 
Discerns, on which this proof is built. Such truth 
Learn I from Him, who shows me the first love 
Of all intelligential substances 
Eternal: from His voice I learn, whose word 
Is truth; that of Himself to Moses saith, 
'I will make all My good before thee pass:' 
Lastly, from thee I learn, who chief proclaim'st, 
E'en at the outset 3 of thy heralding, 
In mortal ears the mystery of Heaven." 
"Through human wisdom, and the authority 
Therewith agreeing," heard I answer'd, "keep 
The choicest of thy love for God. But say, 
If thou yet other cords within thee feel'st, 
That draw thee towards Him; so that thou report 
How many are the fangs, with which this love 
Is grappled to thy soul." I did not miss, 
To what intent the eagle of our Lord 4 
Had pointed his demand; yea, noted well 
The avo\val which he led to; and resumed: 
"All grappling bonds, that knit the heart to God, 
Confederate to make fast our charity. 
The being of the world; and mine own being; 
The death which He endured, that I should live; 
And that, which all the faithful hope, as I do; 
3 "At the outset." John i. I, etc. 4 "The eagle of our Lord." St. John. 



CANTO XXVI 


PARADISE 


397 


To the foremention'd lively knowledge join'd; 
Have from the sea of ill love saved my bark, 
And on the coast secured it of the right. 
As for the leaves,5 that in the garden bloom, 
My love for them is great, as is the good 
Dealt by the eternal hand, that tends them all." 
I ended: and therewith a song most sweet 
Rang through the spheres; and "Holy, holy, holy," 
Accordant with the rest, my lady sang. 
And as a sleep is broken and dispersed 
Through sharp encounter of the nimble light, 
With the eye's spirit running forth to meet 
The ray, from membrane on to membrane urged; 
And the upstartled wight loathes that he sees; 
So, at his sudden waking, he misdeems 
Of all around him, till assurance waits 
On better judgment: thus the saintly dame 
Drove from before mine eyes the motes away, 
With the resplendence of her own, that cast 
Their brightness downward, thousand miles below. 
Whence I my vision, clearer than before, 
Recover'd; and well nigh astounded, ask'd 
Of a fourth light, that now with us I saw. 
And Beatrice: "The first living soul,6 
That ever the first Virtue framed, admires 
\Vithin these rays his Maker." Like the leaf, 
That bows its lithe top till the blast is blown; 
By its own virtue rear'd, then stands aloof: 
So I, the whilst she said, awe-stricken bo\v'd. 
Then eagerness to speak embolden'd me; 
And I began: "0 fruit! that wast alone 
Mature, when first engender'd; ancient father! 
That doubly seest in every wedded bride 
Thy daughter, by affinity and blood; 
Devoutly as I may, I pray thee hold 
Converse with me: my will thou seest: and I, 
More speedily to hear thee, tell it not." 
It chanceth oft some animal bewrays, 
Through the sleek covering of his furry coat, 


.I uThe leaves." Created beings. 


6 "The first living soul." Adam. 



39 8 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVI 


The fondness, that stirs in him, and conforms 
His outside seeming to the cheer within: 
And in like guise was Adam's spirit moved 
To joyous mood, that through the covering shone, 
Transparent, when to pleasure me it spake: 
"No need thy will be told, which I untold 
Better discern, than thou whatever thing 
Thou hold'st most certain: for that will I see 
In Him, who is truth's mirror; and Himself, 
Parhelion unto all things, and naught else, 
To Him. This wouldst thou hear: how long since, God 
Placed me in that high garden, from whose bounds 
She led thee up this ladder, steep and long; 
What space endured my season of delight; 
Whence truly sprang the wrath that banish'd n1e; 
And what the language, which I spake and framed. 
Not that I tasted of the tree, my son, 
Was in itself the cause of that exile, 
But only my transgressing of the mark 
Assign'd me. There, whence 7 at thy lady's hest 
The Mantuan moved him, still was I debarr'd 
This council, till the sun had made complete, 
Four thousand and three hundred rounds and twice, 
His annual journey; and, through every light 
In his broad pathway, saw I him return, 
Thousand save seventy times, the whilst I d\velt 
Upon the earth. The language I did use 
Was worn away, or ever Nimrod's race 
Their unaccomplishable work began. 
For naught, that man inclines to, e'er \vas lasting; 
Left by his reason free, and variable 
As is the sky that sways him. That he speaks, 
Is nature's prompting: whether thus, or thus, 
She leaves to you, as ye do most affect it. 
Ere I descended into Hell's abyss, 
EI was the name on earth of the Chief Good, 
Whose joy enfolds me: Eli then 'twas call'd. 


7 "Whence." That is, from Limbo. See of his deliverance, which followed the 
Hell, Cant<> ii. 53. Adam says that 5,232 death of Christ. 
years elapsed from his creation to the time 



CANTO XXVII 


PARADISE 


399 


And so beseemeth : for, in mortals, use 
Is as the leaf upon the bough: that goes, 
And other comes instead. Upon the mount 
Most high above the waters, all my life, 
Both innocent and guilty, did but reach 
From the first hour, to that which cometh next 
(As the sun changes quarter) to the sixth." 


CANTO XXVII 


ARGUMENT.-St. Peter bitterly rebukes the covetousness of his successors in the 
Apostolic See, while all the heavenly host sympathize in his indignation; they then 
vanish upward. Beatrice bids Dante again cast his view below. Afterward they are 
borne into the ninth heaven, of which she shows him the nature and properties; 
blaming the perverseness of man, who places his will on low and perishable things. 


T HEN "Glory to the Father, to the Son, 
And to the Holy Spirit," rang aloud 
Throughout all Paradise; that with the song 
My spirit reel'd, so passing sweet the strain. 
And what I saw was equal ecstasy: 
One universal smile it seem'd of all things; 
Joy past compare; gladness unutterable; 
Imperishable life of peace and love; 
Exhaustless riches, and unmeasured bliss. 
Before mine eyes stood the four torches 1 lit: 
And that, 2 which first had come, began to wax 
In brightness; and, in semblance, such became, 
As Jove might be, if he and Mars were birds, 
And interchanged their plumes. Silence ensued, 
Through the blest quire; by Him, who here appoints 
Vicissitude of ministry, enjoin'd; 
When thus I heard : "Wonder not, if my hue 
Be changed; for, while I speak, these shalt thou see 
All in like manner change with me. My place 
He 3 who usurps on earth, (my place, ay, mine, 
Which in the presence of the Son of God 
Is void,) the same hath made my cemetery 
A common sewer of puddle and of blood: 


1 ccFour torches." St. Peter, St. James, 
St. John, and Adam. 
2 "That." St. Peter, who looked as the 


planet Jupiter would, if it assumed the 
sanguine appearance of Mars. 
3 "He." Boniface VIII. 



4 00 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVII 


The more below his triun1ph, \vho from hence 
Malignant fell." Such colour, as the sun, 
At eve or morning, paints an adverse cloud, 
Then saw I sprinkled over all the sky. 
And as the unblemish'd dame, who, in herself 
Secure of censure, yet at bare report 
Of other's failing, shrinks with maiden fear; 
So Beatrice, in her semblance, changed: 
And such eclipse in Heaven, methinks, \vas seen, 
When the Most Holy suffer'd. Then the \vords 
Proceeded, with voice, alter'd from itself 
So clean, the semblance did not alter more. 
"Not to this end was Christ's spouse with my blood, 
\Vith that of Linus, and of Cletus,4 fed; 
That she might serve for purchase of base gold: 
But for the purchase of this happy life, 
Did Sextus, Pius, and Callixtus bleed, 
And Urban;5 they, whose doom was not without 
11uch weeping seaI'd. No purpose was of ours,6 
That on the right hand of our successors, 
Part of the Christian people should be set, 
And part upon their left; nor that the keys, 
Which were vouchsafed me, should for ensign serve 
Unto the banners, that do levy war 
On the baptized; nor I, for sigil-mark, 
Set upon sold and lying privileges: 
Which makes me oft to bicker and turn red. 
In shepherd's clothing, greedy wolves 7 belo\v 
Range wide o'er all the pastures. Arm of God! 
Why longer sleep'st thou? Cahorsines and Gascons 8 
Prepare to quaff our blood. 0 good beginning! 
To what a vile conclusion must thou stoop. 
But the high Providence, which did defend, 


4 Bishops of Rome in the first century. 
:; The former two, bishops of the same 
see, in the second; and the others, in the 
fourth century. 
6 "We did not intend that our succes. 
sors should take any part in the political 
divisions among Christians; or that my 
figure (the seal of St. Peter) should serve 


as a mark to authorize iniquitous grants 
and privileges." 
7 "\\701 ves shalJ succeed to teachers, 
grievous wolves." - Milton, "Paradise 
Lost," b. xii. 508. 
8 He alludes to Jacques d'Ossa, a native 
of Cahors, pope, as John XXII, in 1316, 
after the chair had been two years vacant, 
and to Clement V, a Gascon. 



CANTO XXVII 


PARADISE 


4 01 


Through Scipio, the world's empery for Rome, 
Will not delay its succour: and thou, son, 
Who through thy mortal weight shalt yet again 
Return below, open thy lips, nor hide 
What is by me not hidden." As a flood 
Of frozen vapours streams adown the air, 
What time the she-goat 9 with her skiey horn 
Touches the sun; so saw I there stream wide 
The vapours, who with us had linger'd late, 
And with glad triumph deck the ethereal cope. 
Onward my sight their semblances pursued; 
So far pursued, as till the space between 
From its reach sever'd them: whereat the guide 
Celestial, marking me no more intent 
On upward gazing, said, "Look down, and see 
What circuit thou hast compast." From the hour lO 
When I before had cast ll"lY view beneath, 
All the first region overpast I saw, 
Which from the midmost to the boundary winds; 
That onward, thence, from Gades,l1 I beheld 
The unwise passage of Laertes' son; 
And hitherward the shore,12 where thou, Europa, 
Madest thee a joyful burden; and yet more 
Of this dim spot had seen, but that the sun,13 
A constellation off and more, had ta'en 
His progress in the zodiac underneath. 
Then by the spirit, that doth never leave 
Its amorous dalliance with my lady's looks, 
Back with redoubled ardour were mine eyes 
Led unto her: and from her radiant smiles, 
Whenas I turn'd me, pleasure so divine 
Did lighten on me, that whatever bait 
Or art or nature in the human flesh, 
Or in its limn'd resemblance, can combine 
9 When the sun is in Capricorn. 12 Phænicia. where Europa, daughter of 
10 "From the hour." Since he had last Agenor, mounted on the back of Jupiter, 
looked (see Canto xxii) he perceived that in his shape of a bull. 
he had passed from the meridian circle to 13 "The sun." Dante was in the con- 
the eastern horizon; the half of our stellation of Gemini, and the sun in Aries. 
hemisphere, and a quarter of the heaven. There was, therefore, part of those two 
11 See Hell, Canto xxvi. 106. constellations, and the whole of Taurus, 
between them. 



4 02 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVII 


Through greedy eyes to take the soul withal, 
Were, to her beauty, nothing. Its boon influence 
From the fair nest of Leda 14 rapt me forth, 
And wafted on into the swiftest Heaven. 
What place for entrance Beatrice chose, 
I may not say; so uniform was all, 
Liveliest and loftiest. She my secret wish 
Divined; and, with such gladness, that God's love 
Seem'd from her visage shining, thus began: 
"Here is the goal, whence motion on his race 
Starts: motionless the centre, and the rest 
All moved around. Except the soul divine, 
Place in this Heaven is none; the soul divine, 
Wherein the love, which ruleth o'er its orb, 
Is kindled, and the virtue, that it sheds: 
One circle, light and love, enclasping it, 
As this doth clasp the others; and to Him, 
Who draws the bound, its limit only known. 
Measured itself by none, it doth divide 
Motion to all, counted unto them forth, 
As by the fifth or half ye count forth ten. 
The vase, wherein time's roots are plunged, thou seest: 
Look elsewhere for the leaves. 0 mortal lust! 
That canst not lift thy head above the waves 
Which whelm and sink thee down. The will in man 
Bears goodly blossoms; but its ruddy promise 
Is, by the dripping of perpetual rain, 
Made mere abortion: faith and innocence 
Are met with but in babes; each taking leave, 
Ere cheeks with down are sprinkled: he, that fasts 
While yet a stammerer, with his tongue let loose 
Gluts every food alike in every moon: 
One, yet a babbler, loves and listens to 
His mother; but no sooner hath free use 
Of speech, than he doth wish her in her grave. 
So suddenly doth the fair child of him, 
Whose welcome is the morn and eve his parting, 
To negro blackness change her virgin white. 


14 liThe fair nest of Leda." From the Gemini; thus called, because Leda was the 
mother of the twins, Castor and Pollux. 



CANTO XXVIII 


PARADISE 


4 0 3 


"Thou, to abate thy wonder, note, that none 
Bears rule in earth; and its frail family 
Are therefore wanderers. Yet before the date, 
When through the hundredth in his reckoning dropt, 
Pale January must be shoved aside 
From winter's calendar, these heavenly spheres 
Shall roar so loud, that fortune shall be fain 15 
To turn the poop, where she hath now the prow; 
So that the fleet run onward: and true fruit, 
Expected long, shall crown at last the bloom." 


CANTO XXVIII 


ARGUMENT.-Still in the ninth heaven, our Poet is permitted to behold the divine 
essence; and then sees, in three hierarchies, the nine choirs of angels. Beatrice clears 
some difficulties which occur to him on this occasion. 


S O she, who doth imparadise my soul, 
Had drawn the veil from off our present life, 
And bared the truth of poor mortality: 
When lot as one who, in a mirror, spies 
The shining of a flambeau at his back, 
Lit sudden ere he deem of its approach, 
And turneth to resolve him, if the glass 
Have told him true, and sees the record faithful 
As note is to its metre; even thus, 
I well remember, did befal to me, 
Looking upon the beauteous eyes, whence love 
Had made the leash to take me. As I turn'd: 
And that which none, who in that volume looks, 
Can miss of, in itself apparent, struck 
My view; a point I saw, that darted light 
So sharp, no lid, unclosing, may bear up 
Against its keenness. The least star we ken 
From hence, had seem'd a moon; set by its side, 
As star by side of star. And so far off, 
Perchance, as is the halo from the light 
Which paints it, when most dense the vapour spreads; 


15 "Fortune shall be fain." The com- 
mentators in general suppose that our 
Poet here augurs that great reform which 


he vain]y hoped wou]d foHow on the 
arrival of the Emperor Henry VII in Italy. 



4 0 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVIII 


There wheel'd about the point a circle of fire, 
More rapid than the motion which surrounds, 
Speediest, the world. Another this enring'd; 
And that a third; the third a fourth, and that 
A fifth encompass'd; which a sixth next bound; 
And over this, a seventh, following, reach'd 
Circumference so ample, that its bow, 
Within the span of Juno's messenger, 
Had scarce been held entire. Beyond a seventh, 
Ensued yet other two. And everyone, 
As more in number distant from the first, 
Was tardier in motion: and that glow'd 
With flame most pure, that to the sparkle of truth, 
Was nearest; as partaking most, methinks, 
Of its reality. The guide beloved 
Saw me in anxious thought suspense, and spake: 
"Heaven, and all nature, hangs upon that point. 
The circle thereto most conjoin'd observe; 
And know, that by intenser love its course 
Is, to this swiftness, wing'd." To whom I thus: 
"It were enough; nor should I further seek, 
Had I but witness'd order, in the world 
Appointed, such as in these wheels is seen. 
But in the sensible world such difference is, 
That in each round shows more divinity, 
As each is wider from the centre. Hence, 
If in this wondrous and angelic temple, 
That hath, for confine, only light and love, 
My wish may have completion, I must kno\v, 
Wherefore such disagreement is between 
The exemplar and its copy: for myself, 
Contemplating, I fail to pierce the cause." 
"It is no marvel, if thy fingers foil'd 
Do leave the knot untied: so hard 'tis grown 
For want of tenting." Thus she said: "But take," 
She added, "if thou wish thy cure, my words, 
And entertain them subtly. Every orb, 
Corporeal, cloth proportion its extent 
Unto the virtue through its parts diffused. 
The greater blessedness preserves the more, 



CANTO XXVIII 


PARADISE 


4 0 5 


The greater is the body (if all parts 
Share equally) the more is to preserve. 
Therefore the circle, whose swift course enwheels 
The universal frame, answers to that 
Which is supreme in knowledge and in love. 
Thus by the virtue, not the seeming breadth 
Of substance, measuring, thou shalt see the Heavens, 
Each to the intelligence that ruleth it, 
Greater to more, and smaller unto less, 
Suited in strict and wondrous harmony." 
As when the north blows from his milder cheek 
A blast, that scours the sky, forthwith our air, 
Clear'd of the rack that hung on it before, 
Glitters; and, with his beauties all unveil'd, 
The firmament looks forth serene, and smiles: 
Such was my cheer, when Beatrice drove 
With clear reply the shadows back, and truth 
Was manifested, as a star in Heaven. 
And when the words were ended, not unlike 
To iron in the furnace, every cirque, 
Ebullient, shot forth scintillating fires: 
And every sparkle shivering to new blaze, 
In number 1 did outmillion the account 
Reduplicate upon the chequer'd board. 
Then heard I echoing on, from choir to choir, 
"Hosanna," to the fixed point, that holds, 
And shall for ever hold them to their place, 
From everlasting, irremovable. 
Musing awhile I stood: and she, who saw 
My inward meditations, thus began: 
"In the first circles, they, whom thou beheld'st 
Are Seraphim and Cherubim. Thus swift 
Follow their hoops, in likeness to the point, 
Near as they can, approaching; and they can 
The more, the loftier their vision. Those 
That round them Beet, gazing the Godhead next, 
Are Thrones; in whom the first trine ends. And all 
1 "In number." The sparkles exceeded next, two; for the third, four; and so 
the number which would be produced by went on doubling to the end of the ac- 
the sixty-four squares of a chess-board, if count. 
fOf the first we reckoned one; for the 



4 06 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXVIII 


Are blessed, even as their sight descends 
Deeper into the Truth, wherein rest is 
For every mind. Thus happiness hath root 
In seeing, not in loving, which of sight 
Is aftergrowth. And of the seeing such 
The meed, as unto each, in due degree, 
Grace and good-will their measure have assign'd. 
The other trine, that with still opening buds 
In this eternal springtide blossom fair, 
Fearless of bruising from the nightly ram,2 
Breathe up in warbled melodies threefold 
Hosannas, blending ever; from the three, 
Transmitted, hierarchy of gods, for aye 
Rejoicing; dominations first; next them, 
Virtues; and powers the third; the next to whom 
Are princedoms and archangels, with glad round 
To tread their festal ring; and last, the band 
Angelical, disporting in their sphere. 
All, as they circle in their orders, look 
Aloft; and, downward, with such sway prevail, 
That all with mutual impulse tend to God. 
These once a mortal view beheld. Desire 
In Dionysius,3 so intensely wrought, 
That he, as I have done, ranged them; and named, 
Their orders, marshal'd in his thought. From him, 
Dissentient, one refused his sacred read. 
But soon as in this Heaven his doubting eyes 
Were open'd, Gregory4 at his error smiled. 
Nor marvel, that a denizen of earth 
Should scan such secret truth; for he had learnt 5 


2 Not injured, like spring products, by 
the influence of autumn, when the con- 
stellation Aries rises at sunset. 
3 The Areopagite, in his book "De 
Cælesti Hierarchiâ." 
""Gregory." Gregory the Great. 
5 "He had learnt." Dionysius, he says, 
had learnt from St. Paul. The book 
above referred to, which goes under his 
name, was the production of a later age. 
In Bishop Bull's seventh sermon, which 
treats of the different degrees of beatitude 


in Heaven, there is much that resemble, 
what is said on the same subject by our 
Poet. The learned prelate, however, ap- 
pears a little inconsistent, when, after 
having blamed Dionysius the Areopagite, 
"for reckoning up exactly the several 
orders of the angelical hierarchy, as if he 
had seen a muster of the heavenly host 
before his eyes" (v. i. p. 313), he himself 
speaks more particularly of the several 
orders in the celestial hierarchy than Holy 
Scripture warrants. 



CANTO XXIX 


PARADISE 


4 0 7 


Both this and much beside of these our orbs, 
From an eye-witness to Heaven's mysteries." 


CANTO XXIX 


ARGUMEXT.-Beatrice beholds, in the mirror of divine truth, some doubts which 
had entered the mind of Dante. These she resolves; and then digresses into a 
vehement reprehension of certain theologians and preachers in those days, whose 
ignorance or avarice induced them to substitute their own inventions for the pure 
word of the Gospel. 


N o longer, than what time Latona's twins 
Cover'd of Libra and the fleecy star, 
Together both, girding the horizon hang; 
In even balance, from the zenith poised; 
Till from that verge, each, changing hemisphere, 
Part the nice level; e'en so brief a space 
Did Beatrice's silence hold. A smile 
Sat painted on her cheek; and her fix'd gaze 
Bent on the point, at which my vision fail' d: 
When thus, her words resuming, she began: 
"I speak, nor what thou wouldst inquire demand; 
For I have mark'd it, where all time and place 
Are present. Not for increase to Himself 
Of good, which may not be increased, but forth 
To manifest His glory by its beams; 
Inhabiting His own eternity, 
Beyond time's limit or what bound soe'er 
To circumscribe His being; as He will'd, 
Into new natures, like unto Himself, 
Eternal Love unfolded. Nor before, 
As if in dull inaction, torpid, lay. 
For, not in process of before or aft, 
Upon these waters moved the Spirit of God. 
Simple and mix'd, both form and substance, forth 
To perfect being started, like three darts 
Shot from a bow three-corded. And as ray 
In crystal, glass, and amber, shines entire, 
E'en at the moment of its issuing; thus 
Did, from the eternal Sovran, beam entire 
His threefold operation, at one act 



4 08 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIX 


Produced coeval. Yet, in order, each 
Created his due station knew: those highest, 
Who pure intelligence were made; mere power, 
The lowest; in the midst, bound with strict league, 
Intelligence and power, unsever'd bond. 
Long tract of ages by the Angels past, 
Ere the creating of another world, 
Described on Jerome's pages,! thou hast seen. 
But that what I disclose to thee is true, 
Those penmen,2 whom the Holy Spirit moved 
In many a passage of their sacred book, 
Attest; as thou by diligent search shalt find: 
And reason, 3 in some sort, discerns the same, 
Who scarce would grant the heavenly ministers, 
Of their perfection void, so long a space. 
Thus when and where these spirits of love were made, 
Thou know'st, and how: and, knowing, hast allay'd 
Thy thirst, which from the triple question 4 rose. 
Ere one had reckon' d twenty, e'en so soon, 
Part of the Angels fell: and in their fall, 
Confusion to your elements ensued. 
The others kept their station: and this task, 
Whereon thou look'st, began, with such delight, 
That they surcease not ever, day nor night, 
Their circling. Of that fatal lapse the cause 
Was the curst pride of him, whom thou hast seen 
Pent with the world's incumbrance. Those, whom here 
Thou seest, were lowly to confess themselves 
Of His free bounty, who had made them apt 
For ministeries so high: therefore their views 
Were, by enlightening grace and their own merit, 
Exalted; so that in their will confirm'd 
They stand, nor fear to fall. For do not doubt, 
But to receive the grace, which Heaven vouchsafes, 


1 St. Jerome had described the Anßels 
as created 10nß before the rest of the 
universe; an opinion which Thomas 
Aquinas controverted. 
2 As in Gen. i. I, and Eccles. xviii. I. 
3 "Reason." The heavenly ministers 
("motori") would have existed to no 


purpose if they had been created before 
the corporeal world, which they were to 
govern. 
4 He had wished to know where, when, 
and how the Angels had been created, 
and these three questions had been re- 
solved. 



CANTO XXIX 


PARADISE 


4 0 9 


Is n1eritorious, even as the soul 
\Vith prompt affection welcometh the guest. 
Now, without further help, if with good heed 
My words thy mind have treasured, thou henceforth 
This consistory round about mayst scan, 
And gaze thy fill. But, since thou hast on earth 
Heard vain disputers, reasoners in the schools, 
Canvass the angelic nature, and dispute 
Its powers of apprehension, memory, choice; 
Therefore, 'tis well thou take from me the truth, 
Pure and without disguise; which they below, 
Equivocating, darken and perplex. 
"Know thou, that, from the first, these substances, 
Rejoicing in the countenance of God, 
Have held unceasingly their view, intent 
Upon the glorious vision, from the which 
Nought absent is nor hid: where then no change 
Of newness, with succession, interrupts, 
Remembrance, there, needs none to gather up 
Divided thought and images remote. 
"So that men, thus at variance with the truth, 
Dream, though their eyes be open; reckless some 
Of error; others well aware they err, 
To whom more guilt and shame are justly due. 
Each the known track of sage philosophy 
Deserts, and has a bye-way of his own: 
So much the restless eagerness to shine, 
And love of singularity prevail. 
Yet this, offensive as it is, provokes 
Heaven's anger less, than when the Book of God 
Is forced to yield to man's authority, 
Or from its straightness warp'd: no reckoning made 
What blood the sowing of it in the world 
Has cost; what favour for himself he wins, 
\Vho meekly clings to it. The aim of all 
Is how to shine: e'en they, whose office is 
To preach the Gospel, let the Gospel sleep, 
And pass their own inventions off instead. 
One tells, how at Christ's suffering the wan moon 
Bent back her steps, and shadow'd o'er the sun 



4 10 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXIX 


With intervenient disk, as she withdrew: 
Another, how the light shrouded itself 
Within its tabernacle, and left dark 
The Spaniard, and the Indian, with the Jew. 
Such fables Florence in her pulpit hears, 
Bandied about more frequent, than the names 
Of Bindi and of Lapis in her streets. 
The sheep, meanwhile, poor witless ones, return 
From pasture, fed with wind: and what avails 
For their excuse, they do not see their harm? 
Christ said not to His first conventicle, 
'Go forth and preach impostures to the world,' 
But gave them truth to build on; and the sound 
Was mighty on their lips: nor needed they, 
Beside the Gospel, other spear or shield, 
To aid them in their warfare for the faith. 
The preacher now provides himself with store 
Of jests and gibes; and, so there be no lack 
Of laughter, while he vents them, his big cowl 
Distends, and he has won the meed he sought: 
Could but the vulgar catch a glimpse the while 
Of that dark bird which nestles in his hood, 
They scarce would wait to hear the blessing said, 
Which now the dotards hold in such esteem, 
That every counterfeit, who spreads abroad 
The hands of holy promise, finds a throng 
Of credulous fools beneath. Saint Anthony 
Fattens with this his swine,6 and others worse 
Than swine, who diet at his lazy board, 
Paying with unstampt metaF for their fare, 
"But (for we far have wander'd) let us seek 
The forward path again; so as the way 
Be shorten'd with the time. No mortal tongue, 
Nor thought of man, hath ever reach'd so far, 
That of these natures he might count the tribes. 
What Daniel 8 of their thousands hath reveal'd, 


5 Common names at Florence. 
6 On the sale of these blessings, the 
brothers of St. Anthony supported them- 
selves and their paramours. From behind 
the swine of St. Anthony, our Poet levels 


a blow at Boniface VIII, fcom whom, in 
1297, they obtained the privileges of an 
independent congregation. 
7 With false indulgences. 
8 "Daniel." "Thousand thousands min- 



CANTO XXX 


PARADISE 


4 11 


With finite number, infinite conceals. 
The fountain, at whose source these drink their beams, 
With light supplies them in as many modes, 
As there are splendours that it shines on: each 
According to the virtue it conceives, 
Differing in love and sweet affection. 
Look then how lofty and how huge in breadth 
The eternal Might, which, broken and dispersed 
Over such countless mirrors, yet remains 
Whole in itself and one, as at the first." 


CANTO XXX 


ARGUMENT.-Dante is taken up with Beatrice into the empyrean; and there having 
his sight strengthened by her aid, and by the virtue derived from looking on the river 
of light, he sees the triumph of the Angels and of the souls of the blessed. 


N OON'S fervid hour perchance six thousand miles l 
From hence is distant; and the shadowy cone 
Almost to level on our earth declines; 
When, from the midmost of this blue abyss, 
By turns some star is to our vision lost. 
And straightway as the handmai.d of the sun 
Puts forth her radiant brow, all, light by light, 
Fade; and the spangled firmament shuts in, 
E' en to the loveliest of the glittering throng. 
Thus vanish'd gradually from my sight 
The triumph, which plays ever round the point, 
That overcame me, seeming (for it did) 
Engirt 2 by that it girdeth. Wherefore love, 
With loss of other object, forced me bend 
Mine eyes on Beatrice once again. 
If all, that hitherto is told of her, 
Were in one praise concluded, 'twere too weak 
To furnish out this turn. Mine eyes did look 
On beauty, such, as I believe in sooth, 


istered unto him, and ten thousand times 
ten thousand stood before him. "-Dan. 
vu. 10. 
I He compares the vanishing of the 
vision to the fading away of the stars 
at dawn, when it is noonday 6,000 miles 


off, and the shadow,formed by the earth 
over the part of it inhabited by the Poet, 
is about to disappear. 
2 "Appearing to be encompassed by 
these angelic bands, which are in reality 
encompassed by it:' 



4 12 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXX 


Not merely to exceed our human; but, 
.That save its Maker, none can to the full 
Enjoy it. At this point o'erpower'd I fail; 
Unequal to my theme; as never bard 
Of buskin or of sock hath fail'd before. 
For as the sun doth to the feeblest sight, 
E'en so remembrance of that witching smile 
Hath dispossest my spirit of itself. 
Not from that day, when on this earth I first 
Beheld her charms, up to that view of them, 
Have I with song applausive ever ceased 
To follow; but now follow them no more; 
My course here bounded, as each artist's is, 
When it doth touch the limit of his skill. 
She (such as I bequeath her to the bruit 
Of louder trump than mine, which hasteneth on 
Urging its arduous matter to the close) 
Her words resumed, in gesture and in voice 
Resembling one accustom'd to command: 
"Forth 3 from the last corporeal are we come 
Into the Heaven, that is unbodied light; 
Light intellectual, replete with love; 
Love of true happiness, replete \vith joy; 
Joy, that transcends all sweetness of delight. 
Here shalt thou look on either mighty host 4 
Of Paradise; and one in that array, 
Which in the final judgment thou shalt see." 
As when the lightning, in a sudden spleen 
Unfolded, dashes from the blinding eyes 
The visive spirits, dazzled and bedimm'd; 
So, round about me, fulminating streams 
Of living radiance play'd, and left me swathed 
And veiled in dense impenetrable blaze. 
Such weal is in the love, that stills this heaven; 
For its own Bame 5 the torch thus fitting ever. 
No sooner to my listening ear had come 


3 From the ninth sphere to the em- 
pyrean, which is mere light. 
4 Of Angels, that remained faithful, 


and of beatified souls; the latter in the 
form they will have at the last day. 
5 Thus disposing the spirits to receive 
its own beatific light. 



CANTO XXX 


PARADISE 


The brief assurance, than I understood 
New virtue into me infused, and sight 
Kindled afresh, with vigour to sustain 
Excess of light however pure. I look'd; 
And, in the likeness of a river, saw 
Light flowing, from whose amber-seeming waves 
Flash'd up effulgence, as they glided on 
'Twixt banks, on either side, painted with spring, 
Incredible how fair: and, from the tide, 
There ever and anon, outstarting, flew 
Sparkles instinct with life; and in the flowers 
Did set them, like to rubies, chased in gold: 
Then, as if drunk with odours, plunged again 
Into the wondrous flood; from which, as one 
Re-enter'd, still another rose. "The thirst 
Of knowledge high, whereby thou art inflamed, 
To search the meaning of what here thou seest, 
The more it warms thee, pleases me the more, 
But first behoves thee of this water drink, 
Or e'er that longing be allay'd." So spake 
The day-star of mine eyes: then thus subjoin'd: 
"This stream; and these, forth issuing from its gulf, 
And diving back, a living topaz each; 
With all this laughter on its bloomy shores; 
Are but a preface, shadowy of the truth 
They emblem: not that, in themselves, the things 
Are crude; but on thy part is the defect, 
For that thy views not yet aspire so high." 
Never did babe, that had outslept his wont, 
Rush, with such eager straining, to the milk, 
As I toward the water; bending me, 
To make the better mirrors of mine eyes 
In the refining wave: and as the eaves 
Of mine eyelids did drink of it, forthwith 
Seem'd it unto me turn'd from length to round. 
Then as a troop of maskers, when they put 
Their vizors off, look other than before; 
The counterfeited semblance thrown aside: 
So into greater jubilee were changed 
Those flowers and sparkles; and distinct I saw, 


4 1 3 



4 1 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXX 


Before me, either court of Heaven display'd. 
a prime enlightener! thou who gavest me strength 
On the high triumph of Thy realm to gaze; 
Grant virtue now to utter what I kenn'd. 
There is in Heaven a light, whose goodly shine 
Makes the Creator visible to all 
Created, that in seeing Him alone 
Have peace; and in a circle spreads so far, 
That the circumference were too loose a zone 
To girdle in the sun. All is one beam, 
Reflected from the summit of the first, 
That moves, which being hence and vigour takes. 
Arid as some cliff, that from the bottom eyes 
His image mirror'd in the crystal flood, 
As if to admire his brave apparelling 
Of verdure and of flowers; so, round about, 
Eying the light, on more than million thrones, 
Stood, eminent, whatever from our earth 
Has to the skies return'd. How wide the leaves, 
Extended to their utmost, of this rose, 
Whose lowest step embosoms such a space 
Of ample radiance ! Yet, nor amplitude 
Nor height impeded, but my view with ease 
Took in the full dimensions of that joy. 
Near or remote, what there avails, where God 
Immediate rules, and Nature, awed, suspends 
Her sway? Into the yellow of the rose 
Perennial, which, in bright expansiveness, 
Lays forth its gradual blooming, redolent 
Of praises to the never-wintering sun, 
As one, who fain would speak yet holds his peace, 
Beatrice led me; and, "Behold," she said, 
"This fair assemblage; stoles of snowy white, 
How numberless. The city, where we dwell, 
Behold how vast; and these our seats so throng'd, 
Few now are wanting here. In that proud stall, 
On which, the crown, already o'er its state 
Suspended, holds thine eyes-or e'er thyself 
Mayst at the wedding sup-shall rest the soul 



PARADISE 
Of the great Harry,6 he who, by the world 
Augustus hail'd, to Italy must come, 
Before her day be ripe. But ye are sick, 
And in your tetchy wantonness as blind, 
As is the bantling, that of hunger dies, 
And drives away the nurse. Nor may it be, 
That he,7 who in the sacred forum sways, 
Openly or in secret, shall with him 
Accordant walk: whom God will not endure 
I' the holy office long; but thrust him down 
To Simon Magus, where Alagna's priest 8 
Will sink beneath him: such \vill be his meed." 


CANTO XXXI 


CANTO XXXI 


4 1 5 


ARGUMENT.-The Poet expatiates further on the glorious vision described in the 
last Canto. On looking round for Beatrice, he finds that she has left him, and that 
an old man is at his side. This proves to be St. Bernard, who shows him that Beatrice 
has returned to her throne, and then points out to him the blessedness of the 
Virgin !vIother. 


I N fashion, as a snow white rose, lay then 
Before my view the saintly multitude/ 
Which in His own blood Christ espoused. Mean\vhile, 
That other host, 2 that soar aloft to gaze 
And celebrate His glory, whom they love, 
Hover'd around; and, like a troop of bees, 
Amid the vernal sweets alighting now, 
No\v, clustering, where their fragrant labour glows, 
Flew do\vnward to the mighty flower, or rose 
From the redundant petals, streaming back 
Unto the steadfast dwelling of their joy, 
Faces had they of flame, and wings of gold: 


6 "Of the great Harry." The Emperor 
Henry VII, who died in 1313. "Henry, 
Count of Luxemburg, held the imperial 
power three years, seven months and 
eighteen days from his first coronation 
to his death. He was a man wise, and 
just, and gracious; brave and intrepid 
in arms; a man of honor and a good 
catholic; and although by his lineage 
he was of no great condition, yet he 


was of a magnanimous heart, much 
feared and held in awe; and if he had 
lived longer, would have done the great- 
est things." G. Villani. 
7 Clement V. See Canto xxvii. 53. 
8 "Alagna's priest." Pope Boniface 
VIII. Hell, Canto xix. 79- 
1 Human souls, advanced to this state 
of glory through the mediation of Christ. 
2 "That other host." The Angels. 



4 16 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CA
TO XXXI 


The rest was whiter than the driven snow; 
And, as they Bitted down into the Bower, 
From range to range, fanning their plumy loins, 
Whisper'd the peace and ardour, which they won 
From that soft winnowing. Shadow none, the vast 
Interposition of such numerous Bight 
Cast, from above, upon the Bower, or view 
Obstructed aught. For, through the universe, 
Wherever merited, celestial light 
Glides freely, and no obstacle prevents. 
All there, who reign in safety and in bliss, 
Ages long past or new, on one sole mark 
Their love and vision fix'd. 0 trinal beam 
Of individual star, that charm'st them thus! 
Vouchsafe one glance to gild our storm below. 3 
If the grim brood,. from Arctic shores that roam'd, 
(Where Helices for ever, as she wheels, 
Sparkles a mother's fondness on her son), 
Stood in mute wonder 'mid the works of Rome, 
'Vhen to their view the Lateran arose 
In greatness more than earthly; I, who then 
From human to divine had past, from time 
Unto eternity, and out of Florence 
To justice and to truth, how might I chuse 
But marvel too? 'Twixt gladness and amaze, 
In sooth no will had I to utter aught, 
Or hear. And, as a pilgrim, when he rests 
\Vithin the temple of his vow, looks round 
In breathless awe, and hopes some time to tell 
Of all its goodly state; e'en so mine eyes 
Coursed up and down along the living light, 
Now low, and now aloft, and now around, 
\Tisiting every step. Looks I beheld, 
'''here charity in soft persuasion sat; 
Smiles from within, and radiance from above; 
And, in each gesture, grace and honour high. 
So roved my ken, and in its general form 
3 To guide us through the dangers of 5 "Helice." CaJJistro, and her son 
this tempestuous life. Areas, changed into the constellation of 
4 "If the grim brood." The northern the Greater Bear and Aretophylax, or 
hordes who invaded Rome. Bootes. 



CANTO XXXI 


PARADISE 


4 1 7 


All Paradise survey'd: when round 1 turn'd 
With purpose of my lady to inquire 
Once more of things, that held my thought suspense. 
But answer found from other than 1 ween'd; 
For, Beatrice, when 1 thought to see, 
1 saw instead a senior, at my side, 
Robed, as the rest, in glory. Joy benign 
Glow'd in his eye, and o'er his cheek diffused, 
With gestures such as spake a father's love. 
And, "Whither is she vanish'd?" straight I ask'd. 
"By Beatrice summon'd," he replied, 
"I come to aid thy wish. Looking aloft 
To the third circle from the highest, there 
Behold her on the throne, wherein her merit 
Hath placed her." Answering not, mine eyes I raised, 
And saw her, where aloof she sat, her bro\v 
A wreath reflecting of eternal beams. 
N at from the centre of the sea so far 
Unto the region of the highest thunder, 
As was my ken from hers; and yet the forn1 
Came through that medium down, unmix'J and pure. 
"0 Lady! thou in whom my hopes have res
; 
vVho, for my safety, hast not scorn'd, in Hell 
To leave the traces of thy footsteps mark'd; 
For all mine eyes have seen, I to thy po\ver 
And goodness, virtue owe and grace. Of slave 
Thou hast to freedom brought me: and no means, 
For my deliverance apt, hast left untried. 
Thy liberal bounty still toward me keep: 
That, \vhen my spirit, which thou madest \vhole, 
Is loosen'd from this body, it may find 
Favour with thee." So I my suit preferr'd: 
And she, so distant, as appear'd, look'd down, 
And smiled; then toward the eternal fountain turn'd. 
And thus the senior, holy and revered: 
"That thou at length mayst happily conclude 
Thy voyage, (to which end I was despatch'd, 
By supplication moved and holy love), 
Let thy upsoaring vision range, at large, 
This garden through: for so, by ray divine 



4 18 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXI 


Kindled, thy ken a higher flight shall mount; 
And from Heaven's Queen, whom fervent I adore, 
All gracious aid befriend us; for that I 
Am her own faithful Bernard." 6 Like a wight, 
Who haply from Croatia wends to see 
Our Veronica, 7 and, the while 'tis shown, 
Hangs over it with never-sated gaze, 
And, all that he hath heard revolving, saith 
Unto himself in thought: "And didst Thou look 
E'en thus, a Jesus, my true Lord and God? 
And was this semblance Thine?" So gazed I then 
Adoring; for the charity of him,8 
Who musing, in this world that peace enjoy'd, 
Stood livelily before me. "Child of grace!" 
Thus he began: "Thou shalt not knowledge gain 
Of this glad being, if thine eyes are held 
Still in this depth below. But search around 
The circles, to the furthest, till thou spy 
Seated in state, the Queen 9 that of this realm 
Is sovran." Straight mine eyes I raised; and bright, 
As, at the birth of morn, the eastern clime 
Above the horizon, where the sun declines; 
So to mine eyes, that upward, as from vale 
To mountain sped, at the extreme bound, a part 
Excell'd in lustre all the front opposed. 
And as the glow burns ruddiest o'er the wave, 
That waits the ascending team, which Phaëton 
III knew to guide, and on each part the light 
Diminish'd fades, intensest in the midst; 
So burn'd the peaceful oriflame, and slack'd 
On every side the living flame decay'd. 


6 "Bernard." St. Bernard, the venerable 
Abbot of Clairvaux, and the great pro- 
moter of the Second Crusade, who died 
A. D. 1153, in his sixty-third year. He 
has been termed the last of the fathers 
of the Church. That the part he acts 
in the present poem should be assigned 
to him, appears somewhat remarkable, 
when we consider that he severely cen- 
sured the new festival established in 
honor of the Immaculate Conception of 


the Virgin, and "opposed the doctrine 
itself with the greatest vigor, as it sup- 
posed her being honored with a privilege 
which belonged to Christ alone." 
7 A copy in miniature of the picture of 
Christ, which is supposed to have been 
miraculously imprinted upon a handker- 
chief preserved in the church of St. Peter 
at Rome. 
8 "Him." St. Bernard. 
9 "The queen." The Virgin Mary. 



CANTO XXXII 


PARADISE 


4 1 9 


And in that midst their sportive pennons waved 
Thousands of Angels; in resplendence each 
Distinct, and quaint adornment. At their glee 
And carol, smiled the Lovely One of Heaven, 
That joy was in the eyes of all the blest. 
Had I a tongue in eloquence as rich, 
As is the colouring in fancy's loom, 
'Twere all too poor to utter the least part 
Of that enchantment. When he saw mine eyes 
Intent on her, that charm'd him; Bernard gazed 
With so exceeding fondness, as infused 
Ardour into my breast, unfelt before. 


CANTO XXXII 


ARGUMENT.-St. Bernard shows him, on their several thrones, the other blessed 
souls, of both the Old and New Testament; explains to him that their p1aces are 
assigned them by grace, and not according to merit; and, lastly, tells him that if he 
would obtain power to descry what remained of the heavenly vision, he must unite 
with him in supplication to Mary. 
F REEL Y the sage, though wrapt in musings high, 
Assumed the teacher's part, and mild began: 
"The wound, that Mary closed, she 1 open'd first, 
Who sits so beautiful at Mary's feet. 
The third in order, underneath her, 10! 
Rachel with Beatrice: Sarah next; 
Judith; Rebecca; and the gleaner-maid, 
Meek ancestress 2 of him, who sang the songs 
Of sore repentance in his sorrowful mood. 
All, as I name them, down from leaf to leaf, 
Are, in gradation, throned on the rose. 
And from the seventh step, successively, 
Adown the breathing tresses of the flower, 
Still doth the file of Hebrew dames proceed. 
For these are a partition wall, whereby 
The sacred stairs are sever'd, as the faith 
In Christ divides them. On this part, where blooms 
Each leaf in full maturity, are set 
Such as in Christ, or e'er He came, believed. 
On the other, where an intersected space 
1 Eve. 2 Ruth, the ancestress of David. 



4 20 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXII 


Yet shows the semicircle void, abide 
All they, who look'd to Christ already come 
And as our Lady on her glorious stool, 
And they who on their stools beneath her sit, 
This way distinction make; e'en so on his, 
The mighty Baptist that way marks the line 
(He who endured the desert, and the pains 
Of martyrdom, and, for two years, 3 of Hell, 
Yet still continued holy), and beneath, 
Augustin;4 Francis;5 Benedict;6 and the rest, 
Thus far from round to round. So Heaven's decree 
Forecasts, this garden equally to fill, 
With faith in either view, past or to come. 
Learn too, that downward from the step, which cleaves, 
Midway, the twain compartments, none there are 
Who place obtain for merit of their own, 
But have through others' merit been advanced, 
On set conditions; spirits all released, 
Ere for themselves they had the power to chuse. 
And, if thou mark and listen to them well, 
Their childish looks and voice declare as much. 
"Here, silent as thou art, I know thy doubt; 
And gladly will I loose the knot, wherein 
Thy subtile thoughts have bound thee. From this realm 
Excluded, chance no entrance here may find; 
No more than hunger, thirst, or sorrow can. 
A law immutable hath stablish'd all; 
Nor is there aught thou seest, that doth not fit, 
Exactly, as the finger to the ring. 
It is not, therefore, without cause, that these 
0' erspeed y comers to immortal life, 
Are different in their shares of excellence. 
Our Sovran Lord, that settleth this estate 
In love and in delight so absolute, 
That wish can dare no further, every soul, 
Created in His joyous sight to dwell, 
With grace, at pleasure, variously endows. 
3 The time that elapsed between the 4 Bishop of Hippo, fourth century. See 
death of the Baptist and his redemption also Canto x. 117. 
by the death of Christ. 5 "Francis." See Canto xi. 
6 "Benedict." See Canto xxii. 



CANTO XXXII 


PARADISE 
And for a proof the effect may well suffice. 
And 'tis moreover most expressly mark'd 
In holy Scripture, where the twins are said 
To have struggled in the womb. Therefore, as grace 
Inweaves the coronet, so every brow 
Weareth its proper hue of orient light. 
And merely in respect to his prime gift, 
Not in reward of meritorious deed, 
Hath each his several degree assign'd. 
In early times with their own innocence 
More was not wanting than the parents' faith, 
To save them: those first ages past, behoved 
That circumcision in the males should imp 
The flight of innocent wings: but since the day 
Of grace hath come, without baptismal rites 
In Christ accomplish'd, innocence herself 
Must linger yet below. Now raise thy view 
Unto the visage most resembling Christ: 
For, in her splendour only, shalt thou win 
The power to look on Him." Forthwith I sa\v 
Such floods of gladness on her visage shower'd, 
From holy spirits, winging that profound; 
That, whatsoever I had yet beheld, 
Had not so much suspended me with wonder, 
Or shown me such similitude of God. 
And he, who had to her descended, once, 
On earth, now hail'd in Heaven; and on poised wing, 
"Ave, Maria, Gratia Plena," sang: 
To whose sweet anthem all the blissful court, 
From all parts answering, rang: that holier joy 
Brooded the deep serene. "Father revered! 
\Vho deign'st, for me, to quit the pleasant place 
Wherein thou sittest, by eternal lot; 
Say, who that Angel is, that with such glee 
Beholds our Queen, and so enamour'd glows 
Of her high beauty, that all fire he seems." 
So I again resorted to the lore 
Of my wise teacher, he, whom Mary's charms 
Embellish'd, as the sun the morning star; 
Who thus in answer spake: "In him are summ'd, 


4 21 



4 22 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXII 


Whate'er of buxomness and free delight 
May be in spirit, or in Angel, met: 
And so beseems: for that he bare the palm 
Down unto Mary, when the Son of God 
Vouchsafed to clothe Him in terrestrial weeds. 
Now let thine eyes wait heedful on my words; 
And note thou of this just and pious realm 
The chiefest nobles. Those, highest in bliss, 
The twain, on each hand next our Empress throned, 
Are as it were two roots unto this rose: 
He to the left, the parent, whose rash taste 
Proves bitter to his seed; and, on the right, 
That ancient father of the holy Church, 
Into whose keeping Christ did give the keys 
Of this sweet flower; near whom behold the seer,7 
That, ere he died, sawall the grievous times 
Of the fair bride, who with the lance and nails 
Was won. And, near unto the other, rests 
The leader, under whom, on manna, fed 
The ungrateful nation, fickle and perverse. 
On the other part, facing to Peter, lot 
Where Anna sits, so well content to look 
On her loved daughter, that with moveless eye 
She chants the loud hosanna: while, opposed 
To the first father of your mortal kind, 
Is Lucia,8 at whose hest thy lady sped, 
When on the edge of ruin closed thine eye. 
"But (for the vision hasteneth to an end) 
Here break we off, as the good workman doth, 
That shapes the cloak according to the cloth; 
And to the Primal Love our ken shall rise; 
That thou mayst penetrate the brightness, far 
As sight can bear thee. Yet, alas! in sooth 
Beating thy pennons, thinking to advance, 
Thou backward fall'st. Grace then must first be gain'd; 
Her grace, whose might can help thee. Thou in prayer 
Seek her: and, with affection, whilst I sue, 
Attend, and yield me all thy heart." He said; 
And thus the saintly orison began. 
7 St. John. 8 See Hell, Canto ii. 97, and Purgatory, Canto ix. 50. 



CANTO XXXIII 


PARADISE 


4 2 3 


CANTO XXXIII 


ARGUMENT.-St. Bernard supplicates the Virgin Mary that Dante may have grace 
given him to contemplate the brightness of the Divine Majesty, which is accordingly 
granted; and Dante then himself prays to God for ability to show forth some part 
of the celestial glory in his writings. Lastly, he is admitted to a glimpse of the great 
mystery; the Trinity, and the Union of Man with God. 


" Q VIRGIN MOTHER, daughter of thy Son! 
Created beings all in lowliness 
Surpassing, as in height above them all; 
Term by the eternal counsel pre-ordain'd; 
Ennobler of thy nature, so advanced 
In thee, that its great Maker did not scorn, 
To make Himself his own creation; 
For in thy womb rekindling shone the love 
Reveal'd, whose genial influence makes no\v 
This flower to germin in eternal peace: 
Here thou to us, of charity and love, 
Art, as the noon-day torch; and art, beneath, 
To mortal men, of hope a living spring. 
So n1ighty art thou, Lady, and so great, 
That he, who grace desireth, and comes not 
To thee for aidance, fain would have desire 
Fly \vithout wings. Not only him, who asks, 
Thy bounty succours; but doth freely oft 
Forerun the asking. Whatsoe'er may be 
Of excellence in creature, pity mild, 
Relenting mercy, large munificence, 
Are all combined in thee. Here kneeleth one, 
Who of all spirits hath review'd the state, 
From the world's lowest gap unto this height. 
Suppliant to thee he kneels, imploring grace 
For virtue yet more high, to lift his ken 
Toward the bliss supreme. And I, who ne'er 
Coveted sight, more fondly, for myself, 
Than now for him, my prayers to thee prefer, 
( And pray they be not scant), that thou wouldst 
Each cloud of his mortality away, [drive 
Through thine own prayers, that on the sovran joy 
Unveird he gaze. This yet, I pray thee, Queen, 



4 2 4 


THE DIVINE COMEDY 


CANTO XXXIII 


Who canst do what thou wilt; that in him thou 
W ouldst, after all he hath beheld, preserve 
Affection sound, and human passions quell. 
Lo! where, with Beatrice, many a saint 
Stretch their cIasp'd hands, in furtherance of my suit." 
The eyes, that Heaven with love and awe regards, 
Fix'd on the suitor, witness'd, how benign 
She looks on pious prayers: then fasten'd they 
On the everlasting light, wherein no eye 
Of creature, as may well be thought, so far 
Can travel inward. I, meanwhile, who dre''.V 
Near to the limit, where all wishes end, 
The ardour of my wish (for so behoved) 
Ended within me. Beckoning smiled the sage, 
That I should look aloft: but, ere he bade, 
Already of myself aloft I look'd; 
For visual strength, refining more and more, 
Bare me into the ray authentical 
Of sovran light. Thenceforward, what I sa\v, 
Was not for words to speak, nor memory's self 
To stand against such outrage on her skill. 
As one, who from a dream awaken'd, straight, 
All he hath seen forgets; yet still retains 
Impression of the feeling in his dream; 
E'en such am I: for all the vision dies, 
As 't\vere, away; and yet the sense of sweet, 
That sprang from it, still trickles in my heart. 
Thus in the sun-thaw is the snow unseal'd; 
Thus in the winds on flitting leaves \vas lost 
The Sibyl's sentence. a eternal beam! [ soar? ) 
(Whose height what reach of mortal thought may 
Yield me again some little particle 
Of what Thou then appearedst; give my tongue 
Power, but to leave one sparkle of Th y glory, 
Unto the race to come, that shall not lose 
Thy triumph wholly, if Thou waken aught 
Of memory in me, and endure to hear 
The record sound in this unequal strain. 
Such keenness from the living ray I met, 
That, if mine eyes had turn'd away, methinks, 



CANTO XXXIII 


PARADISE 


4 2 5 


I had been lost; but, so embolden'd, on 
I pass'd, as I remember, till my view 
Hover'd the brink of dread infinitude. 
a grace, unenvying of Thy boon! that gavest 
Boldness to fix so earnestly my ken 
On the everlasting splendour, that I look' d, 
While sight was unconsumed, and, in that depth, 
Saw in one volume clasp'd of love, whate'er 
The universe unfolds; all properties 
Of substance and of accident, beheld, 
Compounded, yet one individual light 
The whole. And of such bond methinks I saw 
The universal form; for that whene'er 
I do but speak of it, my soul dilates 
Beyond her proper self; and, till I speak, 
One moment seems a longer lethargy, 
Than five-and-twenty ages had appear'd 
To that emprize, that first made Neptune wonder 
At Argo's shadow darkening on his flood. 
With fixed heed, suspense and motionless, 
Wondering I gazed; and admiration still 
Was kindled as I gazed. It may not be, 
That one, who looks upon that light, can turn 
To other object, willingly, his view. 
For all the good, that will may covet, there 
Is summ'd; and all, elsewhere defective found, 
Complete. My tongue shall utter now, no more 
E'en \vhat remembrance keeps, than could the babe's 
That yet is moisten'd at his mother's breast. 
Not that the semblance of the living light 
Was changed, (that ever as at first remain' d), 
But that my vision quickening, in that sole 
A ppearance, still new miracles descried, 
And toil'd me with the change. In that abyss 
Of radiance, clear and lofty, seem'd, methought, 
Three orbs of triple hue, cli pt in one bound: 1 
And, from another, one reflected seem'd, 
IIlThree orbs of triple hue, clipt in one second, and third, and of the impossi- 
bound." The Trinity. This passage may bility that the human soul should attain 
be compared to what Plato, in his second to what it desires to know of them, by 
Epistle, enigmatically says of a first, means of anything akin to itself. 



4 26 


THE DIVINE COl\IEDY 


CANTO XXXIII 


As rainbow is from rainbow: and the third 
Seem'd fire, breathed equally from both. 0 speech! 
How feeble and how faint art thou, to give 
Conception birth. Yet this to what I sa\-\' 
Is less than little. a eternal Light! 
Sole in Thyself that dwell'st; and of Thyself 
Sole understood, past, present, or to come; 
Thou smiledst, on that circling,2 \vhich in Thee 
Seem'd as reflected splendour, while I mused; 
For I therein, me thought, in its own hue 
Beheld our image painted: steadfast! y 
I therefore pored upon the view. As one, 
Who versed in geometric lore, would fain 
Measure the circle; and, though pondering long 
And deeply, that beginning, which he needs. 
Finds not: e'en such was I, intent to scan 
The novel wonder, and trace out the form, 
How to the circle fitted, and therein 
How placed: but the flight was not for my wing; 
Had not a flash darted athwart my mind, 
And, in the spleen, unfolded what it sought. 
Here vigour fail'd the towering fantasy: 
But yet the will roll'd onward, like a wheel 
In even motion, by the Love impell'd, 
That moves the sun in Heaven and all the stars. 


2 "That circling." The second of the dimly beheld the mystery of the Incar- 
circles, "Light of Light:' in which he nation. 



GLOSSARY 


Adveur, opposite. 
Afflation, the act of blowing upon, or the 
state of being blown upon. 
Agnized, acknowledged; recognized; 
learnt. 


Backening, hindering. 
Besteads, profits. 
Bewraying, discovering, betraying. 
Brachs, female hounds; dogs that pursue 
their prey by the scent. 
Burgein, bud, put forth branches. 


Champain, flat, open country. 
Charlemain, Charlemagne: Charles the 
Great. 
Chuses, chooses. 
Cirque, a circle; an encircling cliff. 
Cittern, a musical instrument, like a 
guitar, but strung with wire instead 
of gut. 
Cloked, concealed; d is g u is e d; con- 
tradicted. 
Cope, head-covering; summit; canopy. 
C urule-ch air, among the Romans a chair 
of state reserved under the Republic 
for officers of high dignity, hence called 
"curule magistrates." 
Cyan, scion. 


Doddered, overgrown with dodder, or 
slender, twining, leafless parasites, in- 
volving and destroying the whole plant 
on which they grow. 
Dispred, expanded. 


Empery, empire, sovereignty, dominion. 
Emprize, undertaking of great import and 
risk. 
Erst, formerly. 
Featly, dexterously; nimbly. 
Fardel, burden. 
Faison, outpouring; abundance. 
Foss, moat; ditëh; depression; chasm. 
Frore, frozen; frosty. 


Germain, related. 


Gleed, spark. 
Governance, the art of governing. 
Grot, grotto; crypt; hidden chamber. 
Gyres, circles. 


Hight, calJed; named. 
Holm, holly; oak-holm. 


Indurated, hardened; obdurate. 


Joctlnd, cheerful; care-free. 


Ken, sub. attention, understanding; fl. 
recognize, apprehend. 


Lea, meadow. 
Limn'd, painted; drawn; illuminated. 
List, Purg., c. 18, 1. 59, please; Purg., c. 
23, I. 48, listen to. 
Lose/, a lazy vagabond; a scoundrel. 


Meed, reward, in both bad and good 
sense. 
Mickle, much; great. 


Nathless, none the less. 


Omnific, all-creating. 
Pallet, couch; resting place. 
Practic, practical skill; i. e., proof. 
Primy, flourishing; in its prime. 
Proem, preface; introduction. 
Propension, inclination. 
Quaternion, composed of four, as in Purg., 
c. 33, I. 3, the four virgins. 
Qua/re, four. 
Quire, choir; company. 
Quiresters, choristers; singing birds. 
Ramp, leap; spring; bound. 
Reaves, bereaves. 
Rere, rear; backward. 
Rereward, to the rear. 
lOvage, river bank; shore; coast. 
Sempiternal, having beginning, but no 
end; everlasting. 


4 2 7 



4 28 


GLOSSARY 


Septenu-ion, northern. 
Shere!, hurt; damaged. 
Sicklies, makes sick. 
Sigi/-mark, seal; signature; an occult sign, 
mark, or character. 
Sith, since; afterwards. 
Sithence, since; seeing that. 
Swerd, sword. 


Tent, prove; sound; tempt; try. 
Tetchy, peevish; irritable. 
Ti/th, that which is tilled; or the act of 
tilling. 
Tinct, tinged; colored. 
Tourneying, competing (or turning, vary- 
ing ? ). 
Transpicuotls, transparent. 
Trinal, threefold. 
Trine, threefold. 
T wyfold, twofold. 


Unweeting, unwitting; unconscioUli. 


Y'award, vanward; to the front. 
Vermei/ dyed the mulberry, etc., the story 
as told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, 
the blood of Pyramis dyed the white 
mulberry a dark tint or purple hue. 
Verma/-tinctured, vermilion-tinged or 
rosy colored. 
Verrey, velïY, same as vairé, a term In 
heraldry denoting green-tinctured. 
Jïsive, visual. 


TVain, sub. Charles's wain--churl's or 
farmer's wagon, the seven brightest 
stars of the constellation Great Bear, 
which has been called a wagon or 
"wain" since the time of Homer; V., 
to carry. 
TVaymenting, bewailing; lamentation. 
TV/zenas, when; whereas; while. 
Whilom, once; formerly. 
TV ons, lives; dwells. 



PN 
6013 
.H3 ' 
v. 20 



,t 


..' 


"